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A Prescription for Washington’s Mood Disorder

Protagonists struggling with bipolar disorder are all the rage in television, movies, and the theatre. From Central Intelligence Agency officer Carrie Mathison in Homeland, to former teacher Pat Solitano in Silver Linings Playbook, to suburban mother Diana Goodman in the play Next to Normal just a few years ago, we’ve been offered many perspectives on manic depression.

In a far less artistic venue, Washington is displaying its own version of a mood disorder. One minute, we’re informed we need to cut health care programs now, now, now, or the economy will implode, and the next minute, seniors are told they will always receive their entitled benefits. Clearly, an intervention is needed. Because I am an economist, not an MD, I cannot provide psychotherapy or dispense medication. But I can give some economic advice.

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