Monday, August 24, 2009


"Meanwhile, in Brazil, India, China, Japan and much of Continental Europe the recession has ended. In the second quarter this year, both the French and German economies grew by 0.3 percent, while the U.S. economy shrank by 1 percent. How can that be? Unlike America, France and Germany had no government stimulus worth speaking of, the Germans declining to go the Obama route on the quaint grounds that they couldn't afford it. ... And yet their recession has gone away. Of the world's biggest economies, only the U.S., Britain and Italy are still contracting. All three are big stimulators, though Gordon Brown and Silvio Berlusconi can't compete with Obama's $800 billion porkapalooza. The president has borrowed more money to spend to less effect than anybody on the planet. Actually, when I say 'to less effect,' that's not strictly true: Due to Obama, one of the least-indebted developed nations is now one of the most indebted -- and getting ever more so. We've become the third most debt-ridden country, after Japan and Italy. According to last month's IMF report, general government debt as a percentage of GDP will rise from 63 percent in 2007 to 88.8 percent this year and to 99.8 percent of GDP next year. Of course, the president retains his formidable political skills, artfully distracting attention from his stimulus debacle with his health care debacle. But there are diminishing returns to his serial thousand-page, trillion-dollar boondoggles. They may be too long for your representatives to bother reading before passing into law, but, whatever the intricacies of Section 417(a) xii on page 938, people are beginning to spot what all this stuff has in common: He's spending your future. And by 'future' I don't mean 2070, 2060, 2040, but the day after tomorrow."

--Columnist Mark Steyn

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