The smart way to resolve the debt crisis would require a fair bit more. It would require that Americans broadly stop telling themselves that only somebody else is responsible for the country's budget mess, that only somebody else needs to pay higher taxes, and that only programs somebody else values need to be cut. It would require that politicians start telling Americans the truth, and that voters reward them for it.
Honestly, can we do all that? Or is the nation likely to exhaust its strength compromising to adopt the indulge-today part of our "new" strategy — that is, backing away from the fiscal cliff — and somehow never get around to the abstain-tomorrow part? That is, until an even more perilous crisis is upon us.
D.J. Tice is the Minneapolis Star Tribune's commentary editor. Readers may send him email at email@example.com.
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