NOTE: This post includes some material published in earlier blog posts. It is posted here as the electronic version of today’s AJC print column:
As marriage counselors will attest, more marriages are broken up by fights over money than for any other reason. That’s particularly true during tough economic times, when dreams falter and tough choices have to be made. That reality also helps to explain the current state of American politics, which is bitter and highly emotional. The 2012 campaign season is at root a battle over money, with two partners each angrily insistent that the other one has lost all contact with the real world.
In trying to sort it all out, however, it’s important to acknowledge that we are actually struggling with two related yet very distinct challenges, and it’s important to think each of them through on their own terms.
Let’s start with this one: How do we finance our government? It is undeniably true that the U.S. government is living beyond its