In the wee hours of the first day of the New Year, after most Americans had concluded their celebrations, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reached a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. The deal was then quickly rushed through the U.S. Senate while most people were asleep.
At first glance, this deal solved some problems. It prevented an income tax increase on most Americans, extended the farm bill for one year, and fixed a problem with Medicare that would have resulted in many physicians no longer accepting Medicare patients.
Not until later New Years Day, while America was watching bowl games, did the main flaw in the deal become apparent: It failed to deal with out-of-control spending.
The federal government adds about $4 billion in new debt every day, over $1 trillion per year the last four years and has over $16 trillion in total debt. Despite these facts, the deal actually increased spending and delayed cuts that had already been agreed to and signed into law. It added new subsidies for green energy, Hollywood movies, and Puerto Rican Rum.