The ruling class got what it wanted - a state further transformed by the reconfiguration of government to better protect the interests of that class, during a period of flux. This was the whole point of the theater. To pretend that legislative members of the ruling class, many of whom are colleagues and friends (and who rode the same corporate gravy trains to power) were engaged in a showdown with each other over valid and true disagreements.
There were no disagreements of note, unless the dependably expendable self-control of the uterus is to be treated as an actual disagreement, and not just a manufactured scuffle between men who believe in their own right to power, and in the capture of domestic and mostly female labor, and men who believe in their own power as sanctioned by an angrier version of Jesus, and who also still believe that traditionally female labor ought to be performed without recompense.
The violence budget, on the other hand, was never in doubt.
And that's all you need to know, really. The capacity for armed agents of the government and state to secure their monopoly on legitimized force was not up for debate, curtailment or limitation. Nor was it ever at risk of defunding or elimination. The police and incarceration superstructure was never on the chopping block. Federal aid to state and local governments, for the provision of police, drug interdiction and surveillance purposes, was not in dispute.
The limitation, elimination and reduction of the welfare functions of that government - agreed to by both allegedly adversarial parties, and outlined months ago by the so-called Catfood Commission - was the predictable end result. And where programs were not immediately eliminated, a consistent narrative was incessantly reinforced: austerity is the new norm. Those who do the majority of the labor should not count on the emerging organization of society to distribute the fruit of that labor equitably. This is nothing new, but the various factions and members of the ruling class no longer even care to act otherwise.
The New Deal - always and already a flawed system of half-measures, racial, regional and gender exclusions, and policing norms - is dead.
The ruling class faces a crisis, domestically and in its global mechanisms for exchange and control, such has not been faced since the collapse of the ancien regime following a century of accelerated expansion of European bourgeoisie and Enclosure.
The single commodity upon which all current power, logistical coordination, transport and communication depends - oil - is approaching its revaluation as a luxury and controlled martial commodity, at the historical moment when its saturation in the global market, for development and the construction of new energy platforms, is not only expected, but necessary.
At the moment when most of the world's people can witness, and therefore reasonably anticipate the satisfaction of, a standard of living common in Europe and North America, the means of achieving it is being put further out of reach. On the periphery, this is happening with manifest and unconcealed violence and warfare; and in the increasing subsumation of local existence to the needs and practices of transnational corporations.
And for the superfluous populations of the core states, by austerity, law and budgetary chicanery.
If control of this commodity cannot be secured for those who belong to the Western and global ruling class of capitalists (and their functionaries), then its increased production will fuel a rapid expansion in the standards of living for people who will have an expectation of its continuance - an expectation which cannot be met in the medium and long terms.
The oil is running out, and the international elite (whose power rests upon it) is consolidating its military access to it, while also expanding the police powers of the states over which it rules, in order to weather the coming crash of economies, ecosystems and populations.
That's the reason for the theater. To conceal this process under the guise of fictional factional disputes over balanced budgets, government solvency and fiscal responsibility.
The profligate state investors in violence have absolutely no honest belief in "fiscal responsibility." They are securing their management of developed states, while funding new means of control, in order to retain their authority and wealth in a period of global crisis.
They are, in short, grabbing as much loot and weaponry as possible, under the sanction of responsible government, in order to deal with us when the reduction in our standards of living goes from a moderate crawl to precipitous decline and crash, and we start to notice it in the faces of our children...