Obama says recovery takes both 'growth and cutting'
Just like he's doing in the United States - except, without the cutting.
Confronting an economic crisis that threatens them all, President Barack Obama and leaders of other world powers on Saturday declared that their governments must both spark growth and cut the debt that has crippled the European continent and put investors worldwide on edge.
"So far so good," Obama proclaimed after economic talks at Camp David, his secluded and highly secure mountaintop retreat. He played international host in the midst of a re-election bid that will turn on the economy, underscoring his stakes in getting his allies abroad to rally around some answers.
Yet there were no bold prescriptions at hand. Instead, leaders seemed intent on trying to inspire confidence by agreeing on a broad strategy no matter their differences.
Coping with shaky oil markets, the leaders set the stage for a united release of national oil reserves to balance any disruption in world markets when tough new sanctions are imposed on Iran's exports because of its disputed nuclear program. The leaders said they were ready to take "appropriate action" to meet any shortages.
The mere preparation to release oil reserves could help calm markets and ensure that oil prices, which have been dropping, don't climb again and anger consumers as U.S. elections approach.
Classic doublespeak. First of all, whoever thought of substituting the word "growth" for "massive government stimulus spending" deserves some kind of award. After all, who can be against "growth?"
But it is the cockamamie notion that you can both spend and cut at the same time that puts reality on its head and makes one dizzy with spin. You can't do both. Cutting the budget and increasing spending at the same time puts you right back where you started - as any 1st grader could tell you.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel must think she crash landed in a mental institution. She thinks that getting control of debt - since the problem is that debt is too big - is the way to restoring confidence in banks and markets and would lead to growth. This common sense approach, however, has been jettisoned because the European voter doesn't like it when politicians take their goodies away. Ergo, the invention of "growth" as a means to win elections. It worked for Hollande in France. And it may just work for Obama in the US.