Sunday, July 31, 2011

On the Debt Deal

Macario Schettino had a column a couple of weeks ago about the US debt-ceiling crisis that I think illustrates the benefit of reading foreign opinions on national affairs. He says that it boils down to a choice about whether the US wants to have a broad-based social safety net, or whether the nation wants to continue being an imperial power for decades to come. I don't buy into that explanation 100 percent of the way (I suspect that if we were willing to accept taxes halfway between their present level and the European average, we could have both without too much difficulty) but I think that's a valid encapsulation of the choices at hand that I've not read in the US media. Sometimes a little bit of distance can provide a completely different perspective, and at the very least, it's always useful to know what sharp, knowledgeable outsiders think of us.

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