The nation is still in an economic crisis -- a crisis of jobs, social mobility, wages and growth. We need to start focusing more on the lives that are being devastated by this crisis, and less on the artificial crisis of "debt reduction."
It is imperative, therefore, for the president to put an end to this, and the only way to really do that is by calling the opposition's bluff. There are several reasons why a government shutdown would actually work in Obama's favor.
I have heard Obama defenders say for years that he's a really smart guy, so they trust him to do what's right -- that he's playing 12-dimensional chess and as the meme has it -- "he's got this." But can't one be a generally smart guy and still ultimately think some really dumb things?
Republican intransigence on tax revenues will continue to produce the gridlock that's ground fiscal policy to a halt, though perhaps now even the most misguided commentators will not be able to frame this as "a pox on both their houses!"
Say what you want about President Obama's proposal to cut Social Security and veterans' benefits with the "chained CPI." He did accomplish one thing for liberals that they often have a hard time doing on their own. He united them -- in opposition to his proposal.
America is not broke. We are not in a time of "scarcity" and when we buy into this fallacy, we contribute to political decisions that actually will do damage to our standard of living and that of our children.
We should let our moral compass guide us as America decides how its tax dollars are spent. The Republicans and President Obama are offering two different visions of prosperity. The question is, "Prosperity for whom?"