This week saw disaster averted when, at the last possible moment, Congress voted to reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling. Of course, we actually only avoided extreme disaster -- allowing us to return to the ordinary, run-of-the-mill disaster that is the current sequester-hobbled budget. It's like living in a house that's falling apart and celebrating because you convinced the repairman not to burn it down. But even avoided catastrophes can be pricey: since 2010, these politically-manufactured crises have cost us 3 percent of GDP, 900,000 jobs and $700 billion in lost economic activity -- not including the $24 billion this latest circus cost. And now we get to see if Congress, so eager to pat itself on the back for not driving the world economy over the cliff, can at long last get its act together -- or if we'll have to go through the exasperating brink-of-disaster routine all over again in three months.