Many Americans viewed the just adjourned 112th Congress as a "do-nothing" Congress. After looking at the fine print of the fiscal cliff legislation, they may revise that assessment to the "do-what?" Congress.
After squabbling interminably over tax rates for wealthier Americans, Congress finally approved legislation to prevent most Americans from facing significant income tax hikes at the start of the new year.
An element of the deal pounded out in the Senate was to allow expiration of a Social Security payroll holiday, which means every working American will feel a slight pinch in his or her new year paycheck.
The balky GOP-controlled House pouted by not acting on a $60 billion storm relief package for badly battered parts of New York and New Jersey, which drew the ire of Republicans inside and outside Congress.
Despite the huge economic stakes and deteriorating public patience, fiscal cliff negotiators found the time to add in a host of tax provisions that The Washington Post labeled as "curious." That may be an understatement.