Sometimes, the sequester doesn’t even cut the rate of growth

White House Report Claims Sequestration Will Affect Federal Department That No Longer Exists

If you want a thorough agency-by-agency rundown of the budget cuts sequestration would deliver, the Office of Management and Budget has you covered. In compliance with The Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, the OMB sent a detailed report to Congress in September 2012. But there’s a small problem with the report: One of the cuts it warns against would affect an agency that no longer exists–and didn’t exist when the OMB sent its report to congress.

The first line item on page 121 of the OMB’s September 2012 report says that under sequestration the National Drug Intelligence Center would lose $2 million of its $20 million budget. While that’s slightly more than 8.2 percent (rounding error or scare tactic?), the bigger problem is that the National Drug Intelligence Center shuttered its doors on June 15, 2012–three months before the OMB issued its report to Congress.

Not sure the significance, but this IS interesting

I could easily see pundits on either side of the aisle responding to these poll results with “See?! That’s what’s wrong with the other party, they don’t get it!”

Ira Stoll at Hit&Run:

The exit polls from the 2012 election showed that Mitt Romney won voters with family income from $50,000 to $99,999, by 52 percent to 46 percent. Romney won voters with family income of $100,000 to $199,999, by 54 percent to 44 percent, and voters with family income of $200,000 or more, 54 percent to 44 percent. The only income groups that President Obama won, according to the poll, were those with family income less than $30,000, which Mr. Obama won 62 percent to 35 percent, and those with family income $30,000 to $49,999, which Obama won 56 percent to 42 percent.

Andrew Napolitano must have been reading KPC

Regarding the sequestration he says:

The first thing that needs to be explained my dear colleagues and friends is that these are not spending cuts. They are a reduction in the amount of increase.

So, instead of spending going up like that:

an1

it’s going to go up like that:

an2

But the federal government will spend more money even with the sequester in 2013 than it spent without them in 2012.

We’re not talking about the president firing or furloughing soldiers or TSA works or FAA air traffic controllers. We’re talking about him hiring fewer of them.

Oh, This is new: apparently, well, according to Kids Prefer Cheese, the sequester doesn’t even cut any spending. Who knew?

défenestrer le sequester?

People, the sequester only lowers spending relative to baseline growth.

That is to say, it doesn’t actually cut spending in the sense a regular normal person would view it.

Over the full 10 years of “deep” cuts, after the “doomsday machine” ravages us, Federal spending will be higher than it is now.

I am not making this up!

He seems really emphatic, like he really believes it. IDK, Maybe he’s right. No way to know for sure.

Local daily as news aggregator

For the latest issue of the Journal, several of the stories I was working on didn’t pan out. This is (I am learning) a normal part of the job. Stories get pushed to the next issue, or just fizzle because they aren’t ripe, the sources don’t talk, or lead isn’t what you thought it was. No big.

But it got me thinking, what happens when it’s just a slow news day. You still need to publish something, right?

I checked out the PDN print edition today (Saturday – usually a slow day, Feb. 23). In 28 pages I counted just about 2,700 hundred words of original news content. I didn’t add in the lifestyle section or the op/ed page, but I also didn’t subtract the 1,000 or so words of stuff that wasn’t really news, but rather just filler attached to an update of ongoing news stories (see e.g. here – where a story about National Guard Deployment is suddenly interrupted with an aside about a recent stabbing quite unrelated to the deployment or anyone in the Guard); a fair balance, I figure.

The rest is obits, op/ed, lifestyle, sports, whether, comics, classifieds, and a lot of syndicated stuff on the Oscars, D.C. politics, East Asian affairs etc. This stuff is important, no doubt. But, it changes the game. Most of the work of preparing the daily can be done without the need for any original reporting.

It’s much more a job of aggregating content from other sources. With the internet though, people can aggregate all the national content just about anywhere, anytime. For the aggregation of the local content, well, that job can be managed by anyone with a laptop and a cellphone. No need for a huge production crew.

Though most of this aggregation work is probably already done in this manner by the PDN, they still have a huge operation, with sales, accounting, reception, production, printing, delivery, plus editorial, local news desk and management.

The sort of production the PDN now runs is probably a lot cheaper and more efficient than paying a large local news team to produce 10,000 words of original content on a daily basis.

But I’m not sure that’s is going to be the choice they and other local dailies face in the years to come – the status quo versus a huge local news desk. It seems more likely the alternative is a handful of people aggregating all this content for an almost entirely on-line audience, without the need for a massive production crew to manage everything for the print edition.

PDN is owned by Gannett and I’ve heard they do still turn a comfortable profit, an increasing rarity for local dailies. That won’t last if their strategy is improving efficiency of an archaic business model. PDN faces the same test as the rest around the country; can they accept a changing news landscape, where the landing page will be the only front page that matters?

If you started a news organization today, you wouldn’t even consider a print edition. Why is it so hard for these old organizations to get with the program?