Barack does Canada and other feedback from the G-8 Summit

Barack Obama’s First Words at G8 Summit: “You’ve Got a Lot of Golf Courses, Don’t You?”

Jim Hoft

Barack Obama’s first words at G8 Summit- “You’ve got a lot of golf courses here, don’t you?”
The National Post reported:

When US President Barack Obama stepped off his helicopter in Huntsville on Friday, the first thing he said was, “You’ve got a lot of golf courses here, don’t you?” Industry Minister Tony Clement told the National Post in an exclusive interview.

“I told him, ‘We would really recommend and love it if you could come back here with Michelle and the kids at some point — we think you’d really love it here,’” Minister Clement said on the sidewalk of Huntsville’s Main Street, in his home riding. “I think I’ve planted a seed in the President’s mind.”

Minister Clement said he personally welcomed each of the G8 leaders — with the exception of French President Nicolas Sarkozy — all of whom commented on the natural beauty of the region, which they observed during their airborne travels over cottage country.

And, also from Jim Hoft this week, these headlines. Click on the links to read the articles:

Merkel Rejects Obama: “We Need Growth That Doesn’t Rely on Debt But Is Based on Real Grounds”
Friday, June 25th, 2010

Brits Refute Obama – Dump Keynesian “Spend Your Way to Wealth” Plan
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Merkel Refutes Obama: Won’t Agree to His Push For More Deficit Spending
Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Hoft links to The Telegraph of London, 24 June 2010:

Barack Obama is refusing to listen to reason on economic policy
President Barack Obama could learn from the old-fashioned German habit of saving money before spending it, argues Jeremy Warner.

…President Barack Obama, backed to some extent by Nicolas Sarkozy of France, wants economic stimulus to continue until the global recovery is unambiguously secure. In the opposite corner is Germany’s Angela Merkel, now oddly aligned with Britain’s new political leadership in thinking the time is right for fiscal austerity.

Like much of what Mr Obama says and does these days, the US position is cynically political. With mid-term elections looming and the Democrats down in the polls, the administration hasn’t yet even begun to think about deficit reduction. Obama is much more worried by the possibility of a double-dip recession and the damage this would do to his chances of a second term, than the state of the public finances.

As it happens, the public debt trajectory is rather worse in the US than it is in Europe, yet Obama has adopted an overtly “spend until we are broke” approach in a calculated bid for growth and votes.

Part of the reason he can afford to do this is that the dollar remains the world’s reserve currency of choice. For some reason, international investors still want to hold dollar assets, which for the time being gives the US government an almost limitless capacity to borrow. As we know, not everyone enjoys this luxury.

Mr Obama’s cheerleader-in-chief in arguing the case for continued international deficit spending is the American economist Paul Krugman. This hyperactive Nobel prize winner has achieved almost celebrity status for his extreme neo-Keynesian views. Yet his frequent polemics on the supposed merits of “let rip” public spending long since ceased to be based on objective analysis, and are instead argued as a matter of almost ideological conviction. He’s as much a fundamentalist as the “deficit hawks” he mocks.

Nobody is asking America to axe and burn with immediate effect, though you might not think this to read Professor Krugman’s ever more hysterical commentaries on the fiscal austerity sweeping Europe. On the other hand, some sort of a plan for long-term debt reduction, other than blind reliance on growth, might be helpful. Even the mighty US cannot forever rely on the willingness of the Chinese to fund its consumption…

…In berating others to carry on spending, Mr Obama is being neither politically wise nor economically sound. He should instead be attending to his own back yard by mapping out some sort of credible, long-term plan for returning the US to balanced budgets. The US is still dangerously reliant on Chinese funding for its deficit spending. It’s not going to last indefinitely, and with rising domestic demand in China, may already be on the wane…

The entire article is worth reading at The Telegraph.

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