Not A Class Act

After one last round of partisan wrangling, Congress clears the way for a budget deal by playing the politics of resentment

Before dismissing the 101st Congress as entirely useless, voters might consider some of its more notable achievements. During their three-week wrangle over the federal budget, the lawmakers exposed a decade's worth of economic gospel as falsehoods while inventing a new set of myths to replace them. They transformed the budget-making process, usually about as gripping as watching weeds grow, into a demolition derby. They invited the middle class to divorce its interests from those of the rich and its sympathies from those of the poor. And they reinforced the suspicion that in a crisis, the first instinct of elected representatives is...

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