A reader sent in the paragraph below as another classic in the false-equivalence chronicles. It comes from a bigtime news organization, and if you wanted you could of course track down the source exactly. I'm intentionally leaving out the details, because what makes the story significant is not that it's exceptional but that it's representative.
The article is about the risk that the economy will be disrupted yet again, by yet another showdown over raising the federal debt ceiling. It describes the fundamentals this way:
With investors already nervous about the Federal Reserve's plan to start scaling back its stimulus program, another fiscal policy standoff could be more disruptive this time around.
In recent days, both Democrats and Republicans have been digging in their heels, setting up another possible nerve-wracking battle over the debt ceiling, which the Treasury expects to hit by November.
"Hearing Washington banter back and forth over this again was like a recurring bad dream," said [I'll leave out this guy's name too], deputy chief investment officer at [XX] Bank, which manages $170 billion in assets.
That's one way to describe what's going on: Another damned partisan flap! Can't these politicians grow up and stop squabbling? To hell with all of them. This is of course the tone that runs through most gridlock/ dysfunction stories -- another standoff, charges back and forth -- and it's so familiar that this story can allude to it as an understood truth.
But there's a different way to describe the situation. That would be to say that the 44th president, like his 43 predecessors, believes that the United States should honor its sovereign debt, as part of maintaining the "full faith and credit of the United States." He also believes that the policy on government spending first applied under George Washington and in force since then should still be the policy now: once Congress has voted programs or benefits into law, then the government is legally and morally obligated to carry out those programs, until and unless they are repealed.*