Column: Despite agreement, outlook still grim on Capitol Hill

“And I’ll be with you when the deal goes down” — Bob Dylan.

Well, the deal went down. Not with the finality of the poet’s words, but long enough for Americans to take a short gulp of breath before facing the threat of an even worse calamity than the possibility of falling into the economic abyss we just avoided.

A couple of short months from now the debt ceiling will have to be raised or once again the government will have to deal with another crisis — defaulting on its financial obligations and shutting down.

The president wanted to have that remedied in the compromise that saved most of us from a major tax increase and draconian cutbacks in spending. But it wasn’t to be. Nor did the small solution adopted in the last hours of the year — as is the legislature’s historic pattern — include much debt reduction or entitlement reform needed to solve a barge load of other fiscal problems that will keep us sweating throughout 2013 at least.

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