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A friend was talking to me recently. He observed that the post-election drama in Washington seems to be about more than taxes and spending. Everybody seems to feel that the stakes are high, and two visions of the future of America are being contested. “It’s really pretty amazing,” he said, “because we just had a national election. Isn’t voting supposed to settle things. Majority rule and all that.” Not that he was opposed to Republican resistance to Obama’s proposals. On the contrary, he’s a limited government guy. Still, he’s right. It says something about the political moment in which we live that elections don’t settle things the way they used to. Both sides seem to be playing a long game.

It was then that he said: “Ya know, the more you hear about the fiscal cliff, the more you realize that it’s a metafiscal cliff we’re heading toward.”

Metafiscal cliff. Perfect.

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