The US Senate has approved a deal to avert general tax hikes and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff".
"This tentative last-ditch deal they have is kind of a halfway version between jumping and not jumping [from the cliff]," said Dr Pippa Malmgren, a former adviser to George W Bush.
"The irony is that both sides will ultimately end up with at least some of what they wanted and be able to blame the other side for failure to cut the full deal."
But Dr Malmgren warned that the real issues are not being dealt with "fast enough".
Simon Schama, Professor of History at Columbia University, believes "empowering government with just the cash it needs to get along" is in itself becoming a problem, which makes solving the problem difficult.
"We have reached a point in the United States where the balance between executive authority and legislative checks has swung grotesquely far in the direction of legislative obstruction."
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