I have been asked in e-mail whether I have any thoughts on the “fiscal cliff” deal, and the answer is: Meh. I don’t find the substance of the deal particularly impressive. I think it has two primary functions. One, it gives Obama a victory over the GOP, regardless of whether that victory has any genuine value outside of the fact of the victory; Two, it means that a non-trivial number of Republicans, in both the House and Senate, have voted to increase taxes.
Of the two, the latter function is rather more important to me. I certainly don’t expect the GOP to break down and go on a taxation frenzy anytime soon, but any crack in the delusion that higher taxes are never useful or needed and/or the separate but equal delusion that the best policy for anything is to cut taxes, is a laudable event. I want to believe this is a first sign of the GOP beginning a long, hard trek back to being a genuinely fiscally responsible party and indeed to sanity in general. We’ll see if it happens.
Otherwise, again, meh. If someone wants to tell me why I should feel otherwise about this deal than I do, either positively or negatively (and can do so in a polite, non-foamy fashion), please let me know in the comments.