Here’s the White House’s explanation of the budget deal. Long story short, a lot of spending cuts! The first tranche of cuts is balanced between defense and non-defense elements and will be implemented immediately. The second, larger tranche of cuts won’t happen until at least 2013 (the good news) and could take a variety of different specific forms depending on exactly what happens. In theory, taxes can be raised in lieu of cuts but in practice nothing about the composition of the committee makes that seem like a remotely plausible outcome.
The precise details are complicated, and at this hour of the night I find myself unable to write up a better summary than the one the White House has up on its website. l