Many news outlets, most notably the Washington Post, have been busy creating disaster stories associated with the failure to reach an agreement on the budget by January 1, 2013. Ryan Grim at the Huffington Post approached the issue as a news reporter would, by asking what is likely to happen if there is no deal by that date.

The answer is essentially nothing. No one disputes that if we drag on several months into 2013 without a deal that higher taxes and lower government spending will be a serious hit to the economy. But the consequences to the economy of not reaching a deal by New Year's itself is pretty much zero. (It will mean unnecessary stress for people facing the cutoff of unemployment insurance and other benefits, but the impact of this on the economy will be pretty much undetectable.)

Anyhow while most of the media have horribly failed the country in their reporting on this issue, Ryan Grim and the Huffington Post came through.