Clearly, President Barack Obama and his supporters in Congress won the public relations battle over the "fiscal cliff." Legislation approved on New Year's Day gave the president most of what he wanted, including tax increases.
But what it did not do was address government deficit spending in any meaningful way. Obama got tax increases averaging about $62 billion a year over the coming decade.
Compare that to the annual budget deficit, which is expected to top $1 trillion for the fourth time in a row. Tax increases sought by Obama and approved by Congress will eliminate less than 7 percent of the deficit.
Obama himself admits spending discipline is essential if the U.S. economy is to be spared a catastrophic decline brought on by a ballooning national debt.
But on Tuesday, virtually nothing was done to deal with that.