The budget deal should not be celebrated as a success. It should be taken as an indication of how low the process has sunk. As Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition said, “They haven’t really done anything except avoid another crisis.” It doesn’t really do anything to reduce the debt – now $17.3 trillion and rising. It doesn’t close corporate loopholes or reform expensive health care and retirement programs (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc.). It doesn’t fully replace the sequester’s spending cuts.