David Leonhardt tells us in today's New York Times that it's time to get back to reality, now that the election (if not the vote counting) is behind us:
It should be a good day regardless of whether you’re elated or disappointed by last night’s results, because a campaign that included almost no serious discussion of these issues has now ended. Today marks the start of the 2008 presidential race.Hard to argue with that. He continues:
We could use some fresh economic ideas right now. An honest accounting of the budget deficit would show it to be even larger than the government says it is. High oil prices have helped finance extremist governments across the Middle East, while the five warmest years on record have all occurred in the last decade. Health care costs, like the numbers of the uninsured, keep rising. Wages for most Americans have failed to keep pace with inflation over the last five years.He goes on to list the deficit, health care, global warming, and living standards, and to outline some places where reform could start. Read the whole thing.
In some cases, the outlines of a potential — even bipartisan — solution have already begun to take shape outside of Washington. In other cases, the two parties each have a chance to claim a big issue as their own. With an eye toward Nov. 4, 2008, here is a breakdown of the four biggest[.]