President Obama will address the Nation in an hour. Using his best salemanship he will attempt to convince a skeptical country that his almost 4 Trillion Dollar Budget is the right thing for America. That an increase in the Nations Debt, by $10 Trillion Dollars, if the Congressional Budget Office’s projections are correct, over the next 10 years, are just what the doctor ordered. (Just how large might the debt be if the CBO projections are overly optomistic. Optomistic like the President’s promise to cut the deficit in half, a promise that lasted less than a week).
During this last election cycle the Main Stream Media was quick to point out Candidate Obama’s popularity in Europe. A popularity that has waned significantly since he assumed office. President Obama’s spending proposals have met with disbelief in Europe. The sheer size and duration of the proposed programs dwarf any previous spending proposals, at any time, any place, in the history of the world.
What do European leaders have to say about Obama’s proposed spending plans?
Obama and Europe are having their first spat, over money
With finance ministers from the leading industrial and developing nations — members of the Group of 20 — preparing to address the global economic crisis at a summit this weekend in London, signs are emerging that the United States and Europe have different ideas about what constitutes the best tonic.
But many European leaders say they have stimulated their economies enough. What the world needs now, they say, are tougher, globally enforced regulations on financial markets to avoid a repeat of the mistakes that led to the current troubles.
This week, they pushed back against Obama’s plan.
“The Americans should be more modest about giving lessons, because the crisis comes from them,” Patrick Devedjian, France’s minister for recovery, said in a TV interview.
The tough talk has added to the sense of cooling between Europeans and the politician they greeted with almost rapturous affection during his visit to the continent last year. “Disagreement between Obama and the Europeans over the recovery,” the respected French daily Le Figaro proclaimed on its front page Wednesday.
The divisions over economic stimulation represent a role reversal from the conventional U.S. and European positions. Europe is known for being comfortable with using government to try to fix economic problems. The Reagan revolution left Americans skeptical of that approach.
National Public Radio, that notorius left wing organization that supports Obama’s every move, reports:
EU Pledges No New Stimulus Funds
EU leaders steered far clear of any big new government spending plans to fight the global economic slowdown. Struggling to balance mounting debt and joblessness, the 27-nation bloc has steadily refused to consider new stimulus. The plan put forth Friday reflects the EU’s difference of opinion with President Barack Obama’s new U.S. administration over how best to resolve the economic crisis and may make for tough negotiations at an April 2 summit of the Group of 20 rich and developing nations.
EU leaders resisted calls for increasing economic stimulus efforts at the G-20.
[That is right, the leaders of 27 European Nations, all with a great deal more expereince than Obama, question the advisability of additional stimulus spending, never mind spending amounts never before dreamed of – Obama’s proposed budget will increase the US deficit 400% in it’s first year]
Reports that Mirek Topolánek, the Czech prime minister, is one of several EU leaders who are sceptical about economic recovery packages.
France and Germany resist calls from U.S. for more spending:
Putting aside months of tension over how to deal with the global financial crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France joined forces Thursday to reject calls by the United States that Europe spend more to overcome the recession. Unity between France and Germany is considered crucial if Europe is to make major decisions, but their new rapport could sharpen divisions between Europe and the United States over how to tackle the financial crisis….
REUTERS reports that the run-up to this weeks G-20 gathering has been dominated by disagreements over what the summit’s priorities should be, and the degree to which countries should ramp up stimulus spending. Washington is urging the biggest industrialized countries to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product to boost demand and pull the global economy out of its tailspin, but France and Germany have rejected U.S. calls for fresh spending. The G20 represents more than 80 percent of the global economy, comprising the Group of Seven industrial nations — all of which are in or near recession — and key emerging markets such as Russia, China, India and Brazil.
“We consider that in Europe we have already invested a lot for the recovery, and that the problem is not about spending more, but putting in place a system of regulation so that the economic and financial catastrophe that the world is seeing does not reproduce itself,” told a news conference in Berlin on Thursday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, rebuffing U.S. calls to spend more.
Russia will also oppose proposals for G20 members to set a mandatory minimumlevel at 2 percent of GDP and cut interest rates, a Russian delegation source told reporters on Thursday.
Paris rejects ‘Obama-style’ stimulus program
Prime Minister François Fillon on Monday rejected demands that the French government seek to stimulate consumer spending through Government spending. “It would be irresponsible to chose another policy, which would increase our country’s indebtedness without having more infrastructure and increased competitiveness in the end,” Fillon said in a speech in Lyon. http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/02/02/business/frecon.php
The Obama Budget proposal will but the Nations debt at 4% of GDP (Gross National Product). Members of the EU pledge to keep their Nation’s debt at 3% of GDP. ( http://www.mfcr.cz/cps/rde/xbcr/mfcr/EU_Indicators_SustainableDevp.pdf at page 11). Obama’s proposed spending plan exceeds that “pledge” by 33% or 1/3, thus under the Obama proposal, the US would not qualify for EU membership. http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iMy_NnhDtgFsdgXvdbUW4d7qyLiQ
All political rhetoric aside, all the promises of “investment in the future” put to rest, if the heads of the G-20, the Government Leaders who oversee 80% of the World’s economic activity caution about the continued deficit spending – why the rush down this very dangerous path? Political opportunism? Poltical payback? Political power?
The economic and financial markets are in crisis. Prudent and cautious action is called for. When the socially liberal governments of Europe warn on the dangers of deficit spending and refuse to join the headlong rush proposed by the Obama Administration, one should pause and reflect.
The wrong decisions, the wrong policies or poor execution of correct policies can create irrecoverable losses. Contrary to the recent claims of the Polticians, hasty actions which prove to be flawed are, in fact, much harder to correct than deliberate and well though out responses.
The immedaite history of our multiple “Bailout” and “Stimulus” plan fiascos simply reinforce this truth.
This is not a matter of Party Politics. It is not a matter of Capitalism versus Socialism. The Socialist leaning Governments of Europe are the warning against this spending. The reckless spending proposed in this budget plan is one of historic proportions, one that cannot be supported no matter what ideology is brought to bear. This spending is a matter of bad business, bad math and bad economics. This level of spending, left unchecked, may create obstacles that not even Capitalism can overcome.
Contact your Representatives in Washinghton – Tell your Senator & Representative to Vote NO on the 4 Trillion Dollar Budget! http://www.usa.gov/Contact.shtml
Filed under: Barack Obama, Budget Proposal Tagged: | Obama Budget - EU Leaders Warn Against Spending, Obama Budget Proposal - Guarantees Inflationary Future, Obama's Budget Proposal - $10 Trillion Of Debt