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US Debt and Trade Deficit

 
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11695
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:52 pm    Post subject: US Debt and Trade Deficit Reply with quote

http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/a-bankrupt-nation-and-its-failed-political-system.19783417

I fear that some of our American friends may not like this article.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I don't agree that the American political system is failed, nor that the United States is bankrupt (though thanks first to George Bush, and then to the teabagger wing of the GOP we're rushing rapidly down that path), I definitely agree that we need tax increases and spending cuts. But I think everybody realizes this except for a vocal group of loonies who've taken over the Republican Party.

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John Boehner is the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives. In European parlance, he is the leader of his party in the lower house.

And that's a big part of the problem: the Europeanization of Congress, allowing the Republican leadership to enforce the party line, without Europeanization of the electoral system. The Republican House candidates got far fewer votes overall than the the Democratic ones, yet still control the House thanks to gerrymandering. The American people know what has to be done, and so too I suspect do many Republicans.

The rest of the problem is that in addition to the tax raises the Republican leadership is obstructing, significant spending cuts are difficult. This is because most US spending is entitlements and defense spending. And while it's plausible that we might finally push through a few defense cuts (to start with, can we please stop garrisoning Germany and Korea?) entitlements are a different matter. Social Security and Medicare are untouchable since old people vote disproportionately, and are disproportionately members of Congress. But that is an issue that I imagine European countries face too. Greece certainly does.

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Greece, with a peripheral influence on global economic affairs

Right, tell that to the Macedonians. I have no sympathy for a country that thinks it has the right to force its neighbors to change their name and flag by blocking its entry into international organizations. It's just a friggin' name and the Greeks are a bunch of spoiled, whiny, bratty little nationalists. (The same Greeks who don't pay their income taxes and expect generous government benefits and early retirement.)

~Q
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