Gridlock Just Might Be Good for the Economy

Scholar: Stalemate on Capitol Hill means ill-considered ideas don't stand a chance.

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"We're hoping this triple witching hour at the end of the year is enough of an impetus to have the moderates come together and say, 'Hey, we need to fix this,'" he says.

But as Nivola might add, the U.S. system of government will help to ensure that whatever resolutions might be reached will be, at the very least, well-considered.

"One of the advantages of the American system of government is that it slows things down," he says. "Precipitous action, or measures that turn out to be ill-considered because they're taken too swiftly, can blow up in your face."

Danielle Kurtzleben is a business and economics reporter for U.S. News & World Report. Connect with her on Twitter at @titonka or via E-mail at