To listen to all the moaning out of the House of Representatives yesterday, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Republicans are losing the fiscal battle in Washington.
Actually, they're winning.
To see this, you just need to step back and look at the tax deal and the country's fiscal trends from a broader perspective.
Yesterday, the American government voted to extend almost all of the Bush Tax Cuts permanently.
Not temporarily, as a stimulus measure.
Ever since the Bush Tax Cuts were first enacted in 2001--temporarily, as a stimulus measure--one goal of the Republican party has been to "make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent."