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The Fiscal Cliff Deal From Overseas

Mostly, and understanding that not much has really been resolved, and the President, like it or not (not), and despite promises that he’s “not gonna play that game again,” will have to negotiate with Congress over spending.

Britain’s The Commentator:

Megaphone politics doesn’t work and Obama should know this. Or at least he would if he had served any serious time in the Senate before deciding to run for the presidency.

The deal struck is the latest in a series of short term, quick fixes that leaves the US economy in terrible shape, with reputations in tatters and with much left to do as Obama begins his second term. Whether the Speaker can cling on to his gavel will remain to be seen.

Australia’s The Quadrant:

Meanwhile all of the problems that existed before continue. With Obamacare suddenly to enter everyone’s calculations, the US is rapidly heading for a kind of third world elites-and-serfs kind of future. You are in the government, good; you work for the government, good; you are on a direct feed from government, good. These are the new elite. Everyone else will struggle.

And Germany’s Spiegel Online has a roundup of Teutonic dismay.  Read them all, but here’s the meat from Die Welt:

“The US budget can’t actually be straightened out with tax increases for the rich alone. It will also require cuts to the biggest spending areas, which in addition to the military are mainly the galloping costs of the welfare state. In 2012, 44 percent of the US budget went towards paying for the welfare state, for health insurance for retirees (Medicare) and the poor (Medicaid). Given that the US population is graying and more and more people will be eligible for Medicare, this system can no longer be financed on the same scale as in the past. Essentially, America is more European than either Europeans or Americans think. Across the Atlantic, the economic crisis has opened up long-term structural deficits. And here too, the same phenomenon is emerging: In the postmodern Western democracies, the desire of citizens to receive social benefits is far more pronounced than their willingness to finance them with higher taxes.”

The debt ceiling fight isn’t really about the debt ceiling.  It’s about forcing the President and Harry Reid to get serious about entitlement spending.

Posted in Overseas.