(5 of 5)
Things could still get tense. Although Washington has spent months deferring hard choices about the country's fiscal future, it may not be long before new austerity plans pit the generations in a clearer zero-sum game. For now, however, the young and old aren't competing. They are simply advocating two very different visions of what's good for, and about, the U.S. as a whole. And Obama's re-election may depend on which side speaks loudest next November.