Fred Barnes tells us that Canada, considered an “honorary member of the Third World” not that long ago, “is now in a far better economic situation than the United States”
Its unemployment rate is lower, its budget deficit breathtakingly smaller (after nearly a decade of balanced budgets), its debt burden far lighter, its banks more stable. The Canadian dollar, once worth as little as .62 cents, is currently nearly at parity with the American dollar.
How did Canada accomplish this turnaround? By practicing what Republicans here only preached:
Beginning in the mid-1990s, Canadians came to grips with their fiscal crisis. They cut spending at both the national and provincial (state) level, reduced the size and payroll of government, slashed debt, and produced what Paul Martin, then finance minister and later prime minister, called smaller, smarter government.
Barnes points out that the initiative for these measures came from the Liberal governmen when it was in powert. This is the sort of statesmanship that plainly is needed in Washington today. But Obama and the congressional Democrats have declined to engage in it. Instead, they are intent on spending and borrowing even greater sums of money.
It would seem, then, that the failure of the U.S. to come to grips with our economic difficulties is not the result of a “broken” political system. Rather it is down to the failure of our leaders – first the Republicans and then, even more culpably, the Democrats – to act responsibly when in power.