We didn't go over the "fiscal cliff," but we did show the world just how close to totally dysfunctional our federal government is.
The deal that was made satisfied no one, but enough members of Congress viewed it as preferable to going over the cliff, and they held their noses and voted for it.
The Republican and Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives couldn't deal with each other; Vice President Joe Biden had to make the deal with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The simple truth is that our government no longer governs; rather, it panders. The legislators don't do what is best for their country. First and foremost, they seem to seek to satisfy the needs of their financial supporters. We have the best government that money can buy. Next, they seek to satisfy the wishes of those who elected them. The trouble with that is most of the electorate's wants far exceed its willingness to pay for all the goodies.
We want the best health care in the world (don't touch my Medicare), but we don't want to pay for it (no new taxes). We want clean air and water but don't like environmental protections that restrict our freedom. We want it all -- and our political class has been giving it to us. All we have been doing is writing IOUs.
Hilton Head Island