Easy Chair — From the September 2012 issue

Compromising Positions

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Let us review. Barack Obama, who was lifted to the presidency four years ago on a great wave of progressive fantasy, likes to say that the national budget is like a family budget: that when times are tough, government has to tighten its belt. This is a Republican simile of very long standing, and the president is a Democrat. He is in fact the leader of the party that is supposed to believe in deficit spending during hard times. Yet Obama has enthusiastically adopted the belt-tightening trope, and all the terrible ideas that go with it. Another thing the president …

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