Deal or not, the next fight between Congress and the White House is just weeks away.
Take a long look at Washington today: Government shutdown, the prospect of Uncle Sam defaulting on obligations, jittery financial markets and a paralyzed Congress more inclined toward stalemate than statesmanship.
The bottom line: uncertainty is certain to last.
There will be no yearlong budget agreements, just more continuing resolutions that fund government programs for a few months at a time. That means several more showdowns in the next year alone, and maybe even another shutdown of the government.
Budgeting by continuing resolution has a political cost. It takes serious fiscal policy initiatives off the table. It’s nearly impossible to negotiate complex matters — altering the tax code, perhaps, or reforming Social Security, Medicare and other ever-more-costly programs — when the next deadline is just a few weeks away.