That may be the correct choice; it’s certainly a bipartisan one. But when journalists write, incorrectly, that the federal government is “broke,” they elide that choice, and in the process shield policy-makers from accountability for its consequences. We can do better than that.

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Greg Marx is an adjunct lecturer at The Medill School and a facilitator with The OpEd Project. She served as an editorial board member, columnist, library director, and No. 2 in the features department of the Chicago Sun-Times.