Now I know.
What I heard out of the White House just crystallized it all for me.
The president dropping this whole budget cap thing.
Says he wants to spend more on defense, which Republicans like.
But he doesn't want to find the savings elsewhere, which Republicans don't like.
But the president doesn't care.
Seems to find these spending restraints tedious.
The White House saying as much in a statement quoting here:
"The president believes we should end the era of manufactured crises and mindless austerity."
Who knew this whole $18 trillion debt thing was a manufactured crisis.
Or addressing it even lamely so was mindless austerity?
Well, that put it all in focus for me, friends.
It's very clear now.
And for 2016, very black and white. The next election comes down to that, to this:
Whether government spending matters or it doesn't matter.
Do we want more government or less government?
That's really it.
If you like the goodies, like free community college, or paid sick leave stick with Democrats.
If you don't like the goodies, or think we're over-doing it on the goodies go with Republicans.
It's that simple, really.
Either you buy what the president says that this spending crisis is overblown and stick with Democrats.
Or you don't, and go with Republicans.
Depends on how much you like government stuff.
Generally people who like stuff don't like paying for that stuff hence, the term free stuff. They think the rich should pay for that stuff.
Generally the rich who do pay for that stuff don't like all that stuff, since they're not getting any of that stuff hence, the term "get stuffed."
I kid but to make this serious point about spending.
Either you think we spend too much, or not enough.
Republicans say we don't have the money.
Democrats say we do have the money.
Republicans say good intentions don't come cheap.
Democrats say declining deficits prove they don't break the bank.
The truth, of course, is both sides are breaking the bank because the debt is piling up.
But this is how it still comes down how it all comes down in 2016 what kind of message we're going to send on the signature issue of our time.
Whether we elect more government, or less government.
You want more government, pay for it.
You want less government, cut it.
There's no middle ground.
No easy choice.
But that's the choice. The whole choice. The whole election.