President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden make a statement regarding the passage of the fiscal cliff bill in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Tax hike deal: 
Obama’s first 
or GOP’s last?

President Obama and congressional Republicans have learned sharply different lessons from the deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” as they prepare to battle again over the next two months on a series of budget deadlines that carry risks such as crippling defense cuts and a government default.