Facing up responsibilities

NEW YORK- After months of protracted negotiations over the national debt ceiling that brought the US to the brink of default and given the fact that the economy is weakening, Americans are running out of patience with political leaders, according to a Bloomberg National Poll released on Wednesday. 72 per cent say the country is on the wrong track. A majority says it will take at least six more years for home values in their community to recover to pre-recession levels and only 9 percent of people say they are confident the economy won’t slide back into recession.

The biggest concerns are unemployment and jobs, cited by 46 percent of Americans, ranking ahead of the combination of the deficit and government spending at 30 percent.

In order to spur hiring and revive a stalled economy, US President Obama has proposed a $447 billion package of tax cuts and spending measures -although it could never completely materialize if the Republicans block it.

Obama has said that Washington is “deeply engaged” with European nations on solving the eurozone crisis but that ultimately large countries in Europe need to come together to decide how to solve it.

But for the head of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, Eurozone countries are to blame for debt crisis… and so is the US for soaring budget deficits.

“Unless Europe, Japan and the United States can … face up to responsibilities, they will drag down not only themselves but the global economy”, he said in a speech at George Washington University on Wednesday, one week before the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Have the US procrastinated for too long to take decisions? For Zoellick, the answer is yes.

“It is not responsible for the United States to falter in facing fundamental issues such as unsustainable growth in entitlement spending, the need for a pro-growth tax system and a stalled trade policy”.

About the Author

Ana Fuentes
Columnist for El País and a contributor to SER (Sociedad Española de Radiodifusión), was the first editor-in-chief of The Corner. Currently based in Madrid, she has been a correspondent in New York, Beijing and Paris for several international media outlets such as Prisa Radio, Radio Netherlands or CNN en español. Ana holds a degree in Journalism from the Complutense University in Madrid and the Sorbonne University in Paris, and a Master's in Journalism from Spanish newspaper El País.

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