THE WASHINGTON POSTTHE REAL VALUE OF FALSE CHOICES BY E.J. DIONNE JR.
Unmasking false choices is especially important to progressives for whom the task of finding the proper balances — between government and the market, between greater equality and the need for incentives, between a respect for tradition and a commitment to individual freedom — is close to the heart of their political philosophy. In the current budget battle, the quintessential false choice is the core assertion of the House Republicans’ plan: that we have to choose either program cuts or tax increases. They go only for program cuts. Our purpose should be about finding the right balance between the two.
THE WASHINGTON POSTOBAMA ABDICATES ON THE BUDGET BY ROBERT SAMUELSON
Given better health, longer life expectancy and wealthier elderly, why shouldn’t Social Security and Medicare eligibility ages be raised and means-testing broadened? The president doesn’t broach this debate. Farmers receive about $15 billion a year in crop subsidies to help offset the insecurities of weather and fluctuating prices. Considering that volatile markets impose similar insecurities on many Americans, why do farmers deserve special protection? The president doesn’t engage that debate. Might not a higher gasoline tax reduce budget deficits and oil imports? Obama is silent there, too.