Compare and contrast

It was a stunning rejection of reality. This nation is mired in two wars it does not know how to end. It is struggling to escape the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The federal government is staring at record deficits, with no plausible plan for financing the retirement and health-care needs of a giant generation of retirees. Our transportation and education systems need help, and we are dependent on other countries for the energy we use.

In the face of all this, Obama and McCain are stubbornly repeating promises they made in happier times -- broad tax cuts, new health benefits, big government-financed projects.

To govern is to choose, and next year, the trade-offs will be much tougher than usual because of the mess the Bush administration is leaving behind. At a moment when few Americans can muster much confidence in the leaders in Congress or the White House, McCain and Obama have used two of their three debates -- three hours when they had the attention of millions of voters -- to conceal more than they revealed about their agendas. |Broder|

...you hear all the time from people making an argument against deficits a line about how your family needs to live within its means and so the federal government should, too. Now as it happens, I think there definitely are situations in which deficit reduction is the right policy. But no matter what, that analogy is never right. The United States of America is effectively immortal, it can coerce people into giving it money, it can print currency, and it is in a million other highly relevant ways not remotely analogous to an ordinary family or even an ordinary business enterprise. |Yglesias|

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