Policy Today is back. We launched the magazine in the summer, 2004, when President George Bush was seeking his second term; and published our last edition in July, 2008, when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were battling for the Democratic presidential nomination; and John McCain arose from the pack to win the Republican nomination. The country wasn’t as politically divided as we are now, and PT did its best to focus on the issues as they presented themselves.

Our first issue noted that “governments like clocks go from the motion men give them.” In a time far removed from today’s digital world, William Penn and the country’s early leaders realized that no matter now carefully they balanced competing interests within the Constitutional framework, their success depended upon the officials chosen to lead the new Nation.

Policy Today set forth in the belief that individuals can and do make a difference, and that principled decision-making lies at the heart of republican democracy. And, that amidst the overload of today’s information society, these principles provide an essential guide to formulating policy today.

Readers can also access a historical treasure chest of articles and ideas that dominated the political, economic, and social worlds in the first decade of the new millennium. The leading issues of the day included health care, education, national security, and immigration. Sound familiar? Today, of course, the same unresolved issues still exist with a few more added, namely the cultural divide of how society treats racial and ethnic minorities as well as the vast chasm between very rich and struggling poor.

We open with our Front Page, “What happens when we borrow money we can’t pay back?” The article takes a long, hard look at a serious but overlooked issue, the astonishing expansion of America’s national debt.

Next issue: Uncommon Sense: In 1776, Thomas Paine published a pamphlet that argued for independence from England. Just “common sense,” he wrote. Today, the heavy lift will require more.