Ed claimed Monday that there are good reasons not to raise taxes in today's economy. I agree, and so do many Democrats. That's why they supported, along with Republicans, a payroll tax holiday, and why Obama extended the Bush tax cuts.

Ed may be uncharacteristically conflating two problems we must view separately: economic stagnation and the deficit. The first requires more stimulus — in tax reductions and infrastructure spending — while the latter requires a long-term mixture of increased revenues, cuts in military spending and entitlement reform.

This is the policy equivalent of walking and chewing gum, and right now we can't do either in Washington. As usual, Obama has the right policy, he just can't move the nation to support it.