President Barack Obama has signed an order that enacts across-the-board budget cuts, after he and congressional leaders failed to find an alternative budget plan.
The cuts, known as the "sequester" will take $85bn from the US federal budget between Saturday and October 1.
"Sequestration" may cost a million jobs in across the country, but many people in the US state of Illinois had yet to know what the term means.
They know, however, that the economic crisis engulfing the country could have been avoided.
Al Jazeera’s Diane Eastabrook reports from Downers Grove, Illinois.