And was Dick Cheney right that ‘deficits don’t matter’?

The tax deal should not be a story about the deficit. The focus ought to be how the extension of the Bush tax cuts will provide greater certainty, increase purchasing power, and allow market forces rather than government to determine investment.

The deal is not perfect; clearly, the economy would improve faster if Congress coupled this extension with dramatic spending cuts. But from an actuarial standpoint, there are sound reasons to believe that extending existing tax rates for two years, scaling back the death tax, and laying off capital gains and dividends will be a far more efficient and effective means of spurring economic growth.

Ultimately, however, tax cuts are not simply important because they improve the economy. Tax cuts are a sign of greater freedom. No wonder so many Democratic lawmakers are angry about this compromise.