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Obama administration endorses Coalition's deficit reduction programme
22/02/2011 08:31:00

Interesting comments from US Treasury Secretary (the American equivalent of our Chancellor of the Exchequer) Tim Geithner this morning. He told the BBC that he was "very impressed, as just one man looking from a distance, at the basic strategy that he [George Osborne] has adopted", that he had been handed "problems not created by this government" and that he "locked his government and the coalition into a set or reforms that are very good".

All rather embarrassing for Labour. A few months ago, they were pointing out that the Obama administration wasn't making cuts. Then the President published his budget proposals and guess what? They included signficant cuts in American public spending (like us, America has a large deficit, though not quite as large in relation to the size of their economy as ours).

That was embarrassing enough for Labour. But rather than facing up to the fact that governments all around the world are pursuing a similar strategy to the Coaltion, they tried to continue to argue that President Obama was pursuing a different strategy (Chuka Umunna, Ed Miliband's PPS describing his approach as "markedly different"). In fact, the approach is very similar, the only difference being that the pace of the President's cuts is slightly slower as a result of the fact that the US's credit rating is not under as much pressure as ours was.

Now the Obama administration has effectively endorsed the Coalition's approach, it is time for Labour to stop denying they left things in a mess, accept tough decisions need to be made and if they disagree with some of the detail of what the Government has proposed - as they are perfectly entitled to do - start suggesting alternatives.

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Readers' Comments

On 26/02/2011 13:25:00 Jim wrote:
I endorse it too and obviously as a constituent I'm much more important!

Pity the coalition didn't kill off this nasty, busy-body, intrusive census that's coming up. It managed to kill off ID cards. Both a terrible waste - we could run Shirley library for 5000 years for the cost of the census. Or 500 libraries for 10 years.

In fairness, as with many projects, much of the cost of the census was committed by the last Labour government. As you say, they are still in denial about what they did. The first step to rehabilitation is admitting you have a problem - your last paragraph is spot on.




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