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Updated: 01/04/2013 08:00:11AM

Cliff deal didn’t address bigger problem

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Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post Writer's Group

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The moment called for a grand bargain. It yielded a pathetic punt.

No one should feel good about this outcome. Washington proved, as if more proof were needed, that it is good at dispensing benefits with money it doesn’t have, bad at making the hard choices it so solemnly vows to pursue.

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