Thursday, October 24, 2013

Europeans agog at Americans’ inability to compromise, aghast at likely long-term impact

A German newspaper columnist this week asked why people here were shocked by the American government stalemate that led to the recent shutdown.

After all, they’d seen it before: Republican insistence on scaling back the Affordable Care Act and the subsequent shutdown weren’t so very different from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s austerity insistence for Greece, and the subsequent Greek cutback crisis.

While it was only one column in one newspaper, it did nicely sum up how much of the world seemed to be seeing the United States during the budget impasse: as both dysfunctional (Greece) and authoritarian (Germany).

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