Once again our government lives up to expectations. The so-called “fiscal cliff,” the designer disaster with tax hikes and spending cuts so fearsome the mere prospect would force our representatives to act sensibly, has failed. Acting sensibly was discarded as an option weeks ago. Instead, political expedience and mass covering of behinds ruled the day. Taxes were hiked for a few wealthy people, with no political consequences for the happy hikers other than the opportunity to claim a “victory for the middle class.” Large income tax cuts for nearly everybody, more than a decade old, were made permanent. That’s income tax. The biggest tax for many workers, the Social Security tax, just went up 50 percent with almost no comment. Deficits and debt soar on. Serious discussions of federal spending were put off, again.