In the summer of 2011, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner almost reached a $4 trillion deal that fell apart at the last minute. All the king's horses and all the king's men were unable to put the deal back together again.
A decision was made to create a terrible scenario that would force politicians to agree to a deal because the alternative was unthinkable and would occur on Jan. 1. It was called the "fiscal cliff."
Of course they would make a new deal soon because of the fiscal cliff, but there was an election going on, so it only made sense to wait until after the election.
The election was over, so politicians got down to serious business and accomplished nothing.
Could it be that the danger of losing one's job turns out to be a greater calamity than the fiscal cliff?
Now politicians seem to agree that maybe the fiscal cliff isn't as awful as they thought it might be. (See if you agree after reading this article.)
Obama headed off to Hawaii, and the House and Senate left town. Who's doing the people's business? Nobody.
Just $5 a month supports NCR's independent Catholic journalism.
We are committed to keeping our online journalism open and available to as many readers as possible. To do that, we need your help. Join NCR Forward, our new membership program.
Looking for comments?
We've suspended comments on NCRonline.org for a while. If you missed that announcement, learn more about our decision here.