Congress approves ‘fiscal cliff’ measure: “House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) and most other top GOP leaders took no public position on the measure and offered no public comment before the 10:45 p.m. vote. Boehner declined even to deliver his usual closing argument, leaving House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) to defend the measure as the ‘largest tax cut in American history.'” (Washington Post)

‘Fiscal cliff’ deal does little to tame threats from debt ceiling, unemployment rates: “The deal to which the House gave final approval late Tuesday will head off the most severe effects of the “fiscal cliff” by averting a dangerous dose of austerity but still leaves the economy vulnerable to both immediate and more distant threats. The agreement, which the Senate approved only hours after the government hit the limit on federal borrowing, fails to defuse the prospect of a catastrophic national default two months from now. The deal does not raise the debt ceiling, leaving the Treasury to use what it calls “extraordinary measures” as long as it can to pay the government’s bills.” (Washington Post)

Tea party backers swallow a bitter pill in ‘fiscal cliff’ bill. (Washington Post)

Ezra Klein: The lessons of the fiscal cliff. (Washington Post)

A New Year’s resolution: tax reform: “This New Year’s resolution for Congress should be pro-growth tax reform. That means permanent, sensible tax laws — not a system that lasts one year, two years or 10, sending us over a “fiscal cliff” at the end,” writes Manhattan Institute’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth. (Washington Examiner)

Cato’s David Boaz: Congress ducks the debt problem again. (Cato)

Victor Davis Hanson: Bush reconsidered. (National Review)

Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas: “When an Atlanta-based firm bought the New York Stock Exchange just before Christmas, everybody yawned. But it’s a sign of accelerating changes on Wall Street that mean trouble for New York — which still depends on Big Finance’s huge profits.” (New York Post)

Syria’s chaos isn’t America’s fault: “Who lost Syria? Comments of some U.S. senators, analysts and journalists, including theeditorial board of this newspaper, suggest there is no doubt: Bashar al-Assad and his thugocracy are primarily responsible for the killings, but the tragedy of Syria is also a direct result of a terrible failure of leadership on the part of the international community, and of the United States in particular. Syria, it is charged, is Barack Obama’s Rwanda. Don’t believe it,” writes Wilson’s Aaron David Miller. (Washington Post)