It is hard to judge whether it is
On the other hand, the mistakes by U.S. politicians are more gratuitously self-inflicted than on the other side of the Atlantic. In 2001, all we had to do was continue the fiscal progress that had been made during the 1990s: preserve the budget surplus and move on to address the longer-term problems of
To be sure, euroland too has made serious policy mistakes.
But one can sympathize with the difficulty of agreeing policy across 17 sovereign governments. The political fissures have been inevitable ever since 1999, when the euro members (then 11) adopted a single currency without a single fiscal authority, in what was nevertheless a historic and laudable enterprise. As they say, "Why should anyone be surprised at the difficulty of getting 17 national legislatures to agree, when
It is not too late for American politicians to enact the economically sensible policy: current short-term fiscal stimulus simultaneous with steps to lock in a long-run return to fiscal responsibility (which cannot possibly be accomplished solely by discretionary spending cuts, entitlement reform, or tax revenues, but rather should include all three).
For euroland, unfortunately, even if the politicians could come together, there no longer exists an option for preserving the monetary union in the form originally envisioned.
- Is Alarm About Seven Billion People Just Modern-day Eugenics?
- Seven Billion ... And Rising
- Seven Billion People: So Why Do Some Fear Population Decline?
- The World Is Finally Fighting Off the Infection of Neoliberalism
- Seoul Salvation
- Global Health: 'Contagion'
- Malaria: Tackling a Historic Foe
- France Planning Eurozone Breakaway
- Senior Banker Lucas Papademos Named New Greek Prime Minister
- Italian Debt Reaches Unsustainable Level
- The Perverse Side Effect of the Euro
- Europe's Crisis Is a Global Issue
- Europe, the International System and a Generational Shift
- Europe's Economic Measures Too Little Too Late
- Crisis Gratuitously Self-Inflicted
- Europe's Structural Reforms Are Serious
- Papandreou Survives Vote, Uncertain Coalition Pending
- Greece In Chaos as Papandreou Faces Confidence Vote
- On WWII Anniversary, Greeks Say 'No' Again
- Greek Workers and Pensioners: The Damage Is Done
- EU Candidate Status Rejection Means Less Money for Albania
- Albania-Kosovo Agreement Rekindles Old Suspicions
- EU Urges Kosovo to Plan New Strategy for North
- Turkey Ratifies Railway Agreement to Integrate with Balkan States
- Ankara Intimidating Academics, Restricting Free Speech
- Europe's Woes Make Their Way Across the Mediterranean
- Democracy in Revolution: the Mediterranean Moment
- Riots and Revolutions in the Digital Age
- When Do You Know You Have Crossed a Watershed?
- Global Financial Regulation: Goal Many Espouse But Can It Be Done?
- Forging a Lasting Peace
- Eurozone Needs Exit Rules
- Euro Zone Rescue: Deja Vu All Over Again
- Eurozone Rescue or Recession? Fallout of the October Package
- European Union Leaders Reach Deal on Greece, but Worries Remain
- EU Leaders Announce New Eurozone Rescue Deal
- Can Europe's Divided House Stand?
- Greece's Youth: 'I Have No Hope'
- Battle for the Hearts, Minds and Wallets of Greeks
- France Teetering on Edge of Financial Precipice
- Why Care About the French Presidential Race
- Counterrevolution in Kiev: Hope Fades for Ukraine
- The Dying Bear: Russia's Demographic Disaster
- Bulgaria, Romania and Greece Initiate EU strategy for Balkans
- Irish Elections: From Paramilitary to Presidential Nominee
- Was the IMF Program in Iceland Successful?
- Turkey: Is Quake Aftermath Widening Ankara-Kurdish Rift?
- Turkey's Never-Ending Kurdish Question
- Turkey's Earthquake Strikes at Poorest
Copyright 2011, U.S. News & World Report