Glenn and I wrote an essay that was published by Politico.com this morning to launch the blog. Our aim is to frame the way policymakers and citizens should think about the word “balance.” For the record, we’re both in favor of balancing the budget (see our Politico essay from LAST year). Glenn likes to invoke the phrase “glide path” to budgetary balance. But that is a means to and end. Read the essay here before this becomes an essay on its own:
The talk in Washington about a balanced approach to the U.S. federal budget deficit reminds us of the Old Testament account of Solomon’s Judgment. Two women who shared a house in Israel, sisters-in-law, approached King Solomon, each claiming to be the mother of the same infant and calling the other a liar.
“Fetch me a sword,” Solomon said, according to 1 Kings 3:24. Then, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.” One of the women, spiteful and bitter in the heat of the argument, agreed to the split. The other cried out and begged Solomon not to slay the child, rather give it wholly to the other woman, who been revealed as the false mother. King Solomon gave the child to the one who truly loved the infant after the truth had been tricked into the open.
Today, Washington faces a similar dilemma. Instead of a baby, it fights over an ailing economy. …
Read the whole thing here. (And thank you, Politico!)