Following the tea-party wave in the 2010 election, the 112th Congress looks set to be the least productive in recent history. By the end of November, the House had passed 146 bills over the previous two years, by far the smallest number for any Congress since 1948. The Senate passed fewer bills in 2012 than in any year since at least 1992.
Damn, only 146 bills.
And the fat lady hasn't begun to sing quite yet. We might yet get a tax increase without any spending cuts. Imagine, the automatic spending cuts set to kick in are $110 billion...on a GDP of $15 trillion. I will save you the math...that is less than 1%.
Note added: The cuts of $110 billion are only 1% of GDP, which is relevant when thinking about the (possible!) impact on spending and hence GDP. The cuts are a bit more than 4% of the total Federal budget, and of course more than 4% of discretionary spending. Still, to refer to the cuts as "draconian" as is customary, seems a bit of an exaggeration...especially when the Federal government is clearly living beyond its mean.