Saturday, November 13, 2010

Barack Obama - G 20 Summit - #2393 - Embarrassment in Seoul - Wall Street Journal

Has there ever been a major economic summit where a U.S. President and his Treasury Secretary were as thoroughly rebuffed as they were at this week's G-20 meeting in Seoul? We can't think of one. President Obama failed to achieve any of his main goals while getting pounded by other world leaders for failing U.S. policies and lagging growth. The root of this embarrassment is political and intellectual: Rather than leading the world from a position of strength, Mr. Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner came to Seoul blaming the rest of the world for U.S. economic weakness. America's problem, in their view, is the export and exchange rate policies of the Germans, Chinese or Brazilians. And the U.S. solution is to have the Fed print enough money to devalue the dollar so America can grow by stealing demand from the rest of the world........None of this should be cause for celebration, because a world without American leadership is a more dangerous place. The U.S. is still the world's largest economy, the issuer of its reserve currency, and its lone military superpower. No other nation has the will or capacity to lead the way the U.S. has for 70 years, so faltering American influence will produce a vacuum in which every nation can seek narrow advantage.  If Mr. Obama wants to restore his economic leadership, both at home and abroad, he needs an urgent shift in priorities. Strike a deal with Republicans to extend the current tax rates across the board, pursue the spending cuts proposed by his own deficit commission, end the regulatory binge that has constrained America's animal spirits, stop trying to direct capital toward political mirages like "green jobs," and press Congress to pass the Korean and other trade pacts. The world will follow American leadership again only when it sees policies that restore robust U.S. economic growth.  Read more......

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