Don't confuse a collective sigh of relief for enthusiasm and optimism for the future of our economy in the wake of Congress finally passing legislation that steered us clear of the 'fiscal cliff."
Let's not forget, we did go over the cliff, we just didn't crash and burn.
Most pundits will say this could be a very rocky year in Washington with a new Congress coming in. If you're one of those people who look for silver linings, you can tell yourself that maybe it will be good to get some new blood at the Capitol.
More than likely, however, we're in for the same, old routine when it comes to politicians dealing with the debt ceiling.
Already late Tuesday, both sides were blaming the other for the drawn-out process that led to a deal being made. Representatives of both parties said this is an issue that could've been taken care of before Christmas.
Really? Then why wasn't it? That would've been quite a Christmas present for everyone. Instead, we were left holding our breath into the new year as we listened to politicians talk about the deal's many flaws so many, in fact, that for once none were even willing to take credit for saving the day. Many politicians wanted nothing to do with the bill but felt compelled to back it for fear of the "cliff" repercussions.
There has been plenty of political face-saving going on in the last few weeks and there will no doubt be more to come, and while members of Congress were able to compromise to get the deal to go through, we wonder what their motives were. Were they compromising because it was the right thing to do or because the alternative was so devastating they felt they had no choice, grinned and beared it and essentially voted against their will just to keep themselves from looking any worse than they already did.
In any event, we're still in the sigh-of-relief stage, but keep a close eye on what our elected officials do and say in the next two months. More than likely, it will get ugly again. So re-cross your fingers that Congress will be able to build off that compromise they were able to forge in the last few days. If you think things have been interesting lately, chances are you ain't seen nothin' yet.