1. The success or failure of the agreement reached yesterday will be determined over the next two months. Several prominent conservatives are upset about the deal because it only includes tax increases with no spending cuts. But the spending cuts from the sequestration remain, just two months delayed. So Republicans have the leverage from that and the upcoming debt ceiling to try to reduce spending. I think it will be very difficult for the President to distract from that debate with talk of any more taxes, since he just got his bill on taxes signed. Of course, Republicans may still drop the ball, but I am willing to wait to see what happens over the next two months before passing final judgment.2. We just had the first defining moment of the Republican primary race for 2016. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul voted against the fiscal cliff agreement, and Paul Ryan voted for it. This may be a defining vote for the Republican nomination. Since I am reserving judgment on the vote, I am not 100% sure who this helps or hurts, but I was definitely surprised that Ryan voted for it after Rubio and Paul both voted against it.3. Democrats continue their dishonesty with the American people. We have over $16 trillion in debt, significantly more in unfunded entitlements, and we have run annual deficits of over $1 trillion for every year of the Obama presidency. Democrats, whether Obama or Reid or others, continue to sell this notion that somehow this can all be fixed without raising taxes on middle class Americans or cutting entitlements. This is quite simply an outright lie. The math does not work, not even close. Republicans, whether you like their position or not, at least have taken a position. They want to cut entitlements. But whoever you are, you must make a decision, do you want to cut entitlements, or do you want to increase taxes on everyone, not just “the rich”.4. All politicians come out of this looking terrible, whether Republican or Democrat. Is there seriously a more dysfunctional group than politicians? It took them until January 1st to get this done, when they had over a year of advanced notice. And the bill is completely without courage. No difficult decisions were made, and just for good measure, a bunch of additional pork was added to the bill. Boehner looked ridiculous with his “Plan B” efforts, and as for Democrats, see point #3. Why anyone wants to trust these bozos with our money is beyond me.