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The Wall Street Journal’s headline on the pow-wow in Toronto: “Rich Nations Back Halving Deficts by 2013, Signaling Intent to Ease Stimulus.”
What this means, as best I can make it out, is that Angela Merkel won half her battle with Barack Obama. By getting him to give up any thought of enacting another vast, useless stimulus bill, she made sure he wouldn’t make the American deficit even bigger. As far as it goes, that’s good news.
The half of the battle that Merkel lost? She failed to get Obama to agree to deal sensibly with the vast deficit that already exists. Instead of agreeing to rein in goverment spending, as Merkel is doing, and as the new British government appears determined to do, Obama insisted instead on trying to close our deficit by raising taxes.
If he weren’t so utterly determined to pursue policies that will smother investment and prolong high unemployment, I’d almost be willing to savor the irony. After insisting all his political life that the United States needed to become more like the nations of Western Europe, President Obama just devoted an entire summit meeting to dissing…the nations of Western Europe.