Since the first days of the Obama Administration in 2009, Washington has been in a pitched battle over the budget, with endless fights over stimulus packages, temporary tax cuts, spending limits and sequestration, fiscal cliffs, debt ceilings, and government shutdowns. Yet the budget battles have never been quite what they’ve seemed, and the December budget deal worked out between Representative Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray is not a victory of bipartisan reason. Despite all of the budget turmoil over the past five years, the long-term trajectory of the US budget has remained remarkably and dangerously unaltered.
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