The fiscal cliff gives everybody something to hate - will taxes go up or programs be cut?
Why have we spent so many weekend nights watching Congress doing deadline work - when it could have been done in regular work hours?
Just passing something doesn't solve the long-term structural problems.
The real debt ceiling is the one eventually imposed by global financial markets at some point on a profligate Washington. When that happens, Congress won’t be able to raise the ceiling even if it wants to. The only options then to avoid a financial crisis will be draconian austerity — both massive tax hikes and brutal entitlement cuts.