To call him a giant of 20th century economics scholarship doesn't begin to do justice to his contributions. The co-founder of Public Choice theory passes away at 93.
All discussions of both the politics and the economics of disputes over 'the fiscal cliff', Obamacare, the debt-ceiling, trillion dollar platinum coins and most everything else you can read about in business sections of newspapers should begin with The Calculus of Consent, but which unfortunately don't (probably because most journalists have never heard of it, or Buchanan).
Had there been more economists of his caliber, it would be a better world.
Update; No mention today in Paul Krugman's blog of Buchanan's passing (though there are four posts on the platinum coin inanity). Not too surprising in that Krugman once admitted he'd never read any of the Public Choice literature, nor did he ever care to.
Proposal for an epitaph; The economist Paul Krugman was afraid to read.