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On Thursday, the Senate passed a 90-day suspension of the debt ceiling, postponing the looming debt crisis for three months until a deal can be worked out.
That's the theory, at least.
In fact, most experts, if they are being honest, agree that, unless major changes are made to both taxation and spending, budget crises will be a permanent feature of American life and politics.
It now looks as if the federal government is going to muddle its way into a situation where sequestration, once a dreaded threat to be avoided at all costs, now looks like the only way to implement across-the-board budget cuts.
Sequestration takes an axe to the entire budget thereby avoiding responsibility for any unpleasant outcomes resulting from the spending cuts. It's not the smartest way to cut spending but is one of ways to do it without making difficult choices.