In recent weeks, fiscal policy – once the domain of policy wonks – has become part of dinner-table conversations. As Washington attempts to put its fiscal house in order, catchy metaphors from "fiscal cliff" to "fiscal calamity" to "austerity bomb" (and even "hostage crisis") permeate the media. Amidst the media spin and misnomers however, there lies a crucial debate.
In practice, theory is something else. I've already heard variants of this expression in several countries and languages. Very often from people referring to the gap between abstract, generic principles and the implementation of projects and policies.