Monday, November 21, 2011

Timothy Geithner: US Must Make Choices

"We're facing a very consequential debate about some fundamental choices as a country," says Treasury Secretary Timothy Geither. "Those choices are fundamentally about what role can government play and what role can government not play and should not play in trying to create conditions for stronger growth and better opportunity, and how are we going back to a point where we're living within our means as a country." decisions the country must make

Though it is reasonable to criticize the White House and the Congress for failing to act resolutely ("why can't they reach a compromise?"), it also is reasonable to note that there is a huge, virtually unbridgeable gap between competing visions for the future, including the size and role of government. Some believe the size of government itself is a key problem. Others want government to do more. You can agree or disagree with either position. But if you really believe in one of the positions, compromise is not an option, is it?

Under such conditions, compromise is likely to be viewed as surrender. Hence, no compromise. But some big issues are not amenable, fundamentally, to compromise, even when agreement on smaller issues often is possible.

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