The Most Important Election Ever

Writer Jonathan Alter explains why President Barack Obama's re-election really might have been the most important election ever.

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Is the era of the "grand bargain" over?

Yes, in part because austerity has been recently sweepingly rejected and discredited, both in Europe and the United States. So the premise behind the grand bargain is that we need deep deficit cuts, but the deficit is coming down as a result of stronger economic growth. It fell $200 billion in just the last months, so that takes pressure off for a grand bargain. There might be some deficit fixes, but the grand bargain is a $4 trillion cut, and that's not going to happen now. You're going to see cuts of a few hundred billion here, a few hundred billion there. The president wants to leave office with the deficit more under control, but he's no longer going to dance to their tune on this.

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