From South Africa's Business Day, July 18:Think Progress:
"Deficit reduction will have to be achieved through a combination of higher taxes and reduced spending. The golden ratio between the two - the level of taxation and spending that both avoids stalling economic growth and minimises the effect on the poor - depends on the prevailing economic circumstances. The Republicans argue that spending cuts should account for 85% of the required savings, and tax increases just 15%, to achieve optimal deficit reduction. But this is significantly out of kilter with international best practice. In Britain, a ratio of 3:1 has been applied and has met with significant resistance. Even the austerity programmes imposed by the international community on Ireland and Greece do not come close to an 85%-15% split.
"The Republicans have themselves never imposed such harsh deficit reduction measures when in power. In fact, they have tended more towards higher taxes than towards spending cuts. Under Ronald Reagan, tax increases accounted for more than 75% of deficit reduction measures."
From the South China Morning Post, July 18: "The main stumbling block to raising the debt ceiling above US$14.29 trillion is in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where the tea party faction is demanding savage budget cuts and no new revenue, even from closing loopholes in tax law that was always intended to raise it. It has extended a bitter feud with the Democrats over government spending into rejection of every compromise entertained by other factions, including Obama's offer to slash the deficit by US$4 trillion over 10 years and trim 'untouchables' like Medicare and Medicaid."
The Irish Times on July 18, regarding "Cut, Cap, and Balance":
"The measure, which has no hope of passing in Congress, is populist political grandstanding by Republicans in the hope of regaining the initiative ahead of the presidentials. But the public is not impressed. Polls consistently show a majority favour higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations to help reduce debt."
The Irish Times also made the contrast between the two American parties pretty damn stark:
"The difference between Democrats and Republicans, however intractable, remains remarkably simple. The latter, driven by hard-line Tea Party ideologues, insist that any deal on cutting the US deficit, a precondition for agreeing to raising the debt ceiling, can not include tax increases, and specifically not those on the wealthy proposed by President Obama. And the president will not countenance deep reductions in healthcare for the elderly."
Conservative German Die Welt: “[T]here are few signs of self-doubt or self-awareness in the U.S. … [The Tea Party movement] sees the other side as their enemy. Negotiations with the Democrats, whether it’s about appointing a judge or the insolvency of the United States, are only successful if the enemy is defeated. Compromise, they feel, is a sign of weakness and cowardice.”Sigh.
The German mass-circulation Bild: “What America is currently exhibiting is the worst kind of absurd theatrics and the whole world is being held hostage… Most importantly, the Republicans have turned a dispute over a technicality into a religious war, which no longer has any relation to a reasonable dispute between the elected government and the opposition.”
French newspaper Le Monde:”The American politicians supposed to lead the most powerful nation in the world are becoming a laughing stock.”
Chinese state-owned newspaper Xinhua: “Given the United States’ status as the world’s largest economy and the issuer of the dominant international reserve currency, such political brinksmanship in Washington is dangerously irresponsible.”