The Sacrifice Gap

Instead of making tough policy decisions, Obama practices the politics he ran against

Illustration by David Gothard for TIME

In his Inaugural address, Barack Obama summoned Americans to a "new era of responsibility" and challenged us to end the politics of "standing pat ... and putting off unpleasant decisions." It could have happened. If there was ever a President sitting on a high enough mountain of political capital to lead the country through a series of very painful but necessary political decisions, it is Obama. But sadly, that new era has so far been a promise unfulfilled. The Obama Administration's strategy has been no more than an effective execution of politics as usual, wrapped in more, not less, of the...

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