Here's the mistake made by President Obama and the Democrats that nobody is talking about: They have been too fearful of confronting our country's three-year obsession with the wrong problem.
And here is the tea party's greatest victory: It has made the wrong problem the center of policymaking.
The wrong problem is the deficit. The right problem is sluggish growth and persistent unemployment.
The paradox is that the deficit would be less challenging today if we had been less preoccupied with it since the 2010 elections. The deep cuts in government spending since then have slowed the very growth we need to make our way toward fiscal balance.
But relief may be on the way. More from political exhaustion than any change of heart, we may be about to take halting steps toward dealing with the issues we should have been grappling with in the first place.
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