Taxes: A Defining Issue

If the Obama presidency didn't exist, we would have to invent it.

At a time when the American people need to make some decisions about the nation's purpose, along comes Barack Obama to make the choices crystal clear.

In one corner of the world you have Europe, beset by a sovereign debt crisis that's been building for 50 years. The U.K.'s new prime minister, David Cameron, promises his people years of austerity to dig out from beneath their debt. Americans, staring at fiscal crevasses opening across Europe, have to decide if they also wish to spend the next 50 years laboring mainly to produce tax revenue to pay for public workers' pensions and other public promises. The private sector would exist for the public sector.

In another corner of the world, wealth is rising from the emerging economies of the east—China, India, Korea and the rest—posing America's greatest economic challenge in anyone's lifetime. Do the American people want to throw in the towel, or do they want to compete? If the latter, the public sector has to give way to the private sector.

One or the other. It's time to choose.

Read more from Daniel Henninger at the Wall Street Journal.

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published this page in Blog 2010-07-10 18:47:00 -0400