The major battle line in Washington budget debates is between those who want to cut Social Security and Medicare, the social insurance programs that the vast majority of low and middle income people depend upon, and those who believe that the wealthy should pay more to support the government. Since government policies have led to an enormous upward redistribution of income over the last three decades, the latter group would seem to have a good case.

While this seems a rather straightforward battle over money, in a front page story the Washington Post told readers that this battle is actually about, "contrasting visions of the American idea." There is nothing obvious in this debate about "visions." The debate is being conducted by politicians, not political philosophers.

It is certainly understandable that the wealthy and their allies would try to turn this debate into a battle over visions, since they are hugely outnumbered by the people who stand to lose if their agenda is followed. However, most immediately this is a battle over money. Real newspapers would call it that way and not try to distract their readers' from the issues in front of their face. 

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