As Congress moved late Tuesday to avoid falling over the so-called fiscal cliff, Utah's Sen. Orrin Hatch was part of the solution. Every other member of the Utah congressional delegation was part of the problem.
Sen. Mike Lee was one of only eight members of the upper chamber to vote against the last-minute deal to head off a planned combination of tax hikes and spending cuts that threatened to push the American economy back into recession. And all three of the state's House members Republicans Jason Chaffetz and Rob Bishop and Democrat Jim Matheson were also on the losing side of a vote that was as necessary as it was unsatisfying for politicos, experts and citizens of every ideological stripe.
The year-end deadline for the expiration of President George W. Bush's tax cuts was deliberately combined with a trigger for huge spending cuts, called "the sequester." The idea was to so focus the concentration of Congress and the White House as to force them into a long-term grand bargain that would somehow be the beginning of the end of deficit spending and huge federal debt.