Mar 292009
 
Authors: Ian Bezek,

Fiscal policy has positive effect

By Ian Bezek

While I, a libertarian, disagree with President Obama’s move away from the market-based economy, it is clear that his policies have started to repair our badly damaged reputation regarding finances.

The most striking change has been our renewed cooperation with international economic decision-makers.

Our rapid move to the left has pulled us closer in both policy and ideology to the governments of Europe and Japan – our key economic partners.

The Bush administration had notable skill in alienating foreigners; one minute Bush would demand free trade agreements and the next moment he’d be embargoing foreign steel.

Instead of unilateral decisions, Obama has tried to find a consensus with other policy-makers about trying to find a global solution to this economic imbroglio.

While the crisis may have started here, our sneeze has caused pneumonia around the world.

Bad domestic economic decisions caused the bankruptcy of Iceland and the collapse of international banking systems and so it is laudable that Obama, unlike Bush, has engaged the world to fix our mess.

That said, as government usually can’t efficiently solve economic problems, Obama’s efforts will probably fail.

However, for the sake of diplomacy, it is still good that he is trying and America has seen the benefits.

The dollar is rapidly gaining value against foreign currencies and foreigners are actively investing in the U.S. because it is perceived as a relatively safe harbor.

The national debt is a gigantic problem, but for now, Obama’s policies are restoring foreign trust in America’s economy.

Fiscal policy has negative effect

By Seth Stern

Based on the comments and statements made by a number of European leaders, we can conclusively say that President Obama’s fiscal policies have negatively affected the image of the U.S. in some major European nations.

The leaders of several European nations have spoken out directly against this type of shortsighted action. German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded to the urging of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and President Obama to spend almost $3 trillion to stimulate the world economies by stating simply: “I will not let anyone tell me that we must spend more money.”

Spanish Finance Minister Pedro Sorbes said, “In these conditions, I and the rest of my colleagues from the Eurozone believe there is no room for new fiscal stimulus plans.”

French President Nicholas Sarkozy identified the radical reform of capitalism as more significant than talks of other fiscal concerns.

Some may dismiss the thoughts of three significant European leaders, but another damning indictment came from President of the Czech Republic and European Union president Mirek Topolanek who called the Obama’s budget a “road to hell.”

China expressed concern toward U.S. fiscal policies and suggested the replacement of the dollar as the reserve currency of the world.

The methods of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former President George W. Bush in their bilateral cooperation in the Global War on Terror diminished our international images.

Now, Brown and Obama are using similar tactics to convince the G20 to ignore their worst-in-the-G20 budget deficits and use their tactics to correct the world economy.

Point-Counterpoint appears biweekly in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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