|This is how Politico summed up the Senate "cliff" deal, passed when many Americans were either asleep or drunk, shortly after midnight on New Year's Day:
The $620 billion agreement was a major breakthrough in a partisan standoff that has dragged on for months, spooking Wall Street and threatening to hobble the economic recovery. It turned back the GOP’s two-decade-long refusal to raise tax rates, delivering a major win for the president. But as big a deal as it was, it did little to address the nation’s long-term deficit problem — there’s nothing in it to pare back entitlement spending — or to defuse a potential crisis over raising the debt ceiling that could come as early as February. The legislation now moves to the House, where Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has vowed to give any accord passed by the Senate its time on the House floor.”
So once again, the president can smugly strut because he scores a "major win," but the people get a major zero in the way of real structural reform to guide us toward debt and deficit reduction. Celebrate away, Mr. President. Take your victory lap. We expect nothing less.