Sooner or later the US will find itself grappling with an immense fiscal problem. The recession and stimulus have combined to produce record-breaking deficits, and economic recovery will not come close to restoring balance. US voters have big questions to answer about the entitlements they demand and the taxes they are willing to pay.
This dismal outlook might not seem the ideal setting for a call to new ambition in US social policy. But that is exactly what Isabel Sawhill and Ron Haskins, scholars at the Brookings Institution, issue in their new book, Creating an Opportunity Society.
Unreal as such a summons might seem just now, the authors should be congratulated for refusing to be deflected – and not only because their book is full of excellent analysis and proposals. In two ways, their effort turns out to be well timed after all.
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