A. Barton Hinkle on Cutting a Deal on the Federal Budget


According to received wisdom, Washington needs to hash out a budget deal to avoid the fiscal cliff that is partly the result of another deal, the Budget Control Act of 2011, which imposed automatic spending cuts if the congressional super-committee on deficit reduction could not reach its own deal. Which, as things turned out, it couldn't, writes A. Barton Hinkle.

Economists say letting the cliff's cuts proceed at the same time the Bush tax cuts expire would be doubleplusungood, and Beltway officialdom appears to believe them. So we will soon find out if Chili Palmer was right in "Get Shorty," when he said, "Sometimes you do your best work with a gun to your head."