Finally, for journalists around the country who may be just tuning into the sequester debate in earnest and trying to unpack it for their audiences, there are a bevy of useful resources. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office produced a handy primer last fall on the economic effects of the sequester.

And a newer CBO report shows that a range of austerity measures, including sequestration, could reduce economic growth by 1.5 percentage points—nearly half the average annual real increase since 1948.

Other documents with useful background information include:

• A 394-page Office of Management and Budget report that provides both an overview and the fine print on sequestration cuts

• A Congressional Research Service report last October on job losses

• A January CRS report on which programs will be affected or exempted

Of course, for the time-strapped—and which journalists aren’t?—there’s also Dylan Matthews’s comprehensive, chart- and photo-laden sequester FAQ, posted Wednesday afternoon at The Washington Post’s Wonkblog.

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David Cay Johnston covers fiscal and budget matters for CJR’s United States Project. He is a reporter with 46 years of experience, including 13 at The New York Times; a columnist for Tax Analysts; teaches tax and regulatory law at Syracuse University Law School; and is president of Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE). Follow him on Twitter @DavidCayJ.