The Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan launched a blistering attack on the wingnuts on the right.
(sorry, no embed file - 2:40)
Transcript for the video impaired over the jump (all mistakes are mine).
In the United States, we are reminded again of the price paid by a country when hard decisions are delayed. It's been just over twelve months since the partisan debate in the United States over the borrowing limit and the fiscal pathway led to Standard and Poor's stripping the United States of its prized triple A rating after 70 years. [It] was around this time last year, and that rocked the global economy.LOL. I've a feeling that Mr. Swan has picked Obama to win in the office pool.
Despite President Obama's good will and strong efforts, the national interest there was held hostage by the rise of the extreme Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, and there can be few things more alarming in public policy than a political movement which was genuinely prepared to see the Government of the United States default on its obligations in order to score a political point.
Let's just fast forward to today. Because the fiscal cliff looms early in the new year threatening to derail what is now a moderate recovery in the United States. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that currently legislated spending cuts and tax increases amounts to a fiscal consolidation of around 5.1% of GDP in the 2013 calendar year. If that occured that would tip the US economy back into recession.
With the world watching, it is imperative that the US Congress resolve an agreement to support growth in the short term. Global markets are waLet's be blunt and acknowledge that the biggest threat to the world's biggest economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over a part of the Republican Party.tching the positioning of hard-line elements of the Republican Party for signs that they will dangerously block reasonable attempts at compromise. Let's be blunt and acknowledge that the biggest threat to the world's biggest economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over a part of the Republican Party.
Of course Congress must outline a credible medium term plan to assure markets that the United States can put its budget back on a sustainable footing over time. And theyve got to do this in a way that supports growth in the short-term.
And here in Australia of course, the grass is much greener. We're growing around trend, our net debt is around one tenth of the level of the major advanced economies as a percentage of GDP, and we're coming back to surplus before every single one of the major advanced economies.