Finally, Steve Pearlstein uses the snow that’s gripped the Washington area, and a little “snow insurance” thought experiment, to make a powerful point about the current state of American politics.

It is a measure of the dysfunction of our political system that we can no longer rationally debate whether it is penny-wise and pound-foolish not to spend a little more to try to keep the Capital of the Free World from grinding to a halt every time a snowflake descends from the heavens.

Here’s hoping we dig out of both messes soon.

Dean Starkman and Holly Yeager are CJR staffers. Starkman edits The Audit and is CJR's Kingsford Capital Fellow; Yeager is CJR's Peterson Fellow, covering fiscal and economic policy.