by DYLAN MATTHEWS, The Washington Post

Presumably, Congress will soon find a permanent solution to the austerity that will keep the economy growing (or perhaps even speed it up a bit) next year while addressing the longer-term debt problem. That will be the end of this sorry period in American politics, in which Congress continuously set up ever-more draconian consequences to incent its future self to make the hard decisions its current self kept putting off.

Hahaha, no, but seriously. This is Congress we’re talking about, and the last time they had to pass a deal like this we didn’t end up with an actual deal so much as a series of punishments (most notably the automatic sequester set to take effect Jan.1) meant to force a future Congress to make an actual deal at some later date.

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