State of the Union: A Drama-Free Year-End

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What a difference a year makes. I've been reviewing some of my columns from this time last year, and it is interesting to see the stark contrast between last year's worries, and this year's.

I was incensed by the scene that unfolded over the much-dreaded "fiscal cliff" at year-end 2011. I'm sure I was not alone in that sentiment, as our elected officials dragged this drama out all the way until New Year's Day, before passing The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. It was the "sky is falling" drama, at the end of the year, while folks were just trying to enjoy the holidays with their families, that really got to me.

Just two months later, "sequestration" became the No. 1 buzzword in the world. Thankfully, it at least replaced "fiscal cliff" in that role, after the latter term more than wore out its welcome. That's when the unthinkable happened; the sequestration cuts. These cuts were originally thought to be a punishment so dreaded, and so severe, that Congress would never let them see the light of day; yet they were becoming a reality.

Remember the "Super" Committee of six republicans and six democrats whose job it was to find $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years, thus avoiding sequestration? Well, they'd failed. The scare tactics had us believing that sequestration, roughly $85 billion in cuts out of a $3.6 trillion budget, would cause the sky to fall on our heads and that life in the U.S. would never be the same.

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