Moreover, for an administration that puts responsibility at the center, it is not itself very responsible. Federal spending is the leverage the administration uses to gain control over sector after sector, and yet this money is all borrowed.

Obama imposes hard choices on others, but has postponed his own. He presented an agenda that bleeds red ink a trillion dollars at a time. Now he seems passive as Congress kills his few revenue ideas (cap and trade) and spending cuts (agricultural subsidies). Huge fiscal gaps are opening this decade that can’t be closed by distant entitlement reform. They can’t be closed by cynical Potemkin cuts, a few million at a time.

This is not a matter of economics only, but credibility.