That we're calling the current debate in Washington a "budget crisis" and worrying that if we don't "solve" it we can't pay our nation's bills is testament to how successful deficit hawks have been distorting the truth.
The months-long effort to raise the nation's debt ceiling has taken on the feel of an existential political debate, one that will redefine notions about the government's role in society for years to come. As a country, however, we've experienced this before.
Millions of Americans were thrown out of work because of forces beyond of their control in 2008. It should be unthinkable for any leader to threaten to intentionally revisit that suffering on more Americans for political gain, and yet that is where we are.
Allowing the August 2nd deadline go by without legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president to raise the debt ceiling (with severe spending cuts included in such legislation) may be the least bad option left on the table.
How is it that every reputable poll agrees that a majority of Independents, Democrats, even Republicans believe we should cut the federal budget AND raise taxes on the rich but that no plan to do that now appears able to pass the Congress?
For all the president's talk about shared sacrifice and the wealthy paying a bit more by closing loopholes, the two choices before the Congress now are all about spending cuts without revenue increases. How did we get to this unacceptable choice?