A communique agreed unanimously by leaders of the world’s major economies at the G20 meeting in Toronto today acknowledged that countries with large budget deficits need to ‘accelerate the pace of consolidation’ and welcomed the announcement of plans by countries such as Germany and Britain to bring their public finances under control. The United States President, Barack Obama, singled out Britain’s budget cuts for praise as a necessary and courageous action. The communique set non-binding targets for member states at least to halve their deficits by 2013 and to see debt falling by 2016. Both Germany and Britain are already on target to achieve these objectives. The United States government has no such target in place.
At the very same meeting, Obama and Geithner warned that it is too soon after the recession for the United States to withdraw spending: ’the scars of the crisis are still with us.’ Of course, the United States is special in this regard, or so we are led to believe.
Well, what is a little bit of verbal inconsistency among a pair of hydraulic Keynesian deadbeats. When a snake stabs out its forked tongue, after all, it is deploying its highly developed sense of smell. There are some very differentiated smells out there at the moment for President Obama wafting across respectively from the 2010 and 2012 election opinion polls. No wonder he is evolving a forked tongue.
Actually, I find its forked tongue the most frightening aspect of any venomous snake; until, that is, the snake strikes and injects its venom. Then we really know that we are in trouble.