Listening to the debate in Washington, you’d think the nation was absorbed by the compelling saga of deficit reduction. You’d get the impression that in households across America, parents put their children to bed and then stay up half the night sifting through piles of think-tank reports on the kitchen table, trying to calculate whether there will be enough in the Social Security trust fund to pay benefits beyond 2037. And you’d be wrong. Those parents are looking at a pile of bills on the kitchen table, trying to decide which ones have to be paid now and which can slide. The question isn’t how to manage health care or retirement costs two decades from now. It’s how the family can make it to the end of the month.
And perhaps Obama has learned a thing or two. He spent more than a year talking about health care reform when people wanted to hear about jobs — and his party paid the price last November. Now, debt-crazed Republicans are returning the favor.
Depressed housing prices, an epidemic of foreclosures, 8 million lost jobs — that’s the reality that Americans face every day. Politicians had better start facing it, too.
My guess is, we will start hearing them talk about it when they start their new campaign trails.
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