Showdown over, but dysfunction still runs deep in Washington

A hopelessly and structurally polarised politics has led to a stalemate in dealing with America's enormous debt, writes Niall Stanage.

6th January, 2013
US president Barack Obama with vice president Joe Biden in the White House briefing room on New Year's Day after the 'fiscal cliff' was averted. Photo: Getty

President Barack Obama won the first big fight since his re-election last week, but there are plenty more battles just around the corner.

The deal that was struck enabled the United States to avoid the so-called 'fiscal cliff', a combination of across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts that were set to kick in immediately, with potentially ruinous effects for the economy.

The agreement was of a smaller scale than some had hoped, however, which means...

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