The automatic across-the-board spending cuts — due to kick-in next month — is "terrible, terrible" legislation, Robert Rubin, former Clinton Treasury Secretary, told CNBC in an interview on Thursday.
The so-called "sequester" has become a household name, as Congress and the White House battle to rein in Washington's red ink.
Rubin said on "Squawk Box" that the legislation is only "an authorization measure" to cut spending.
So if President Barack Obama and Republican leaders fail to replace it by March 1, he explained, "the implementation would be at the time of the continuing resolution, which is March 27."
(Read More: Why Budget Cuts Could Throw Economy Into Recession)