Economy still in the dumps? Let’s blame Germany!
posted at 12:41 pm on November 6, 2013 by Bruce McQuain
Liz Peek points out that the latest Obama administration scapegoat for our underperformance economically is … Germany:
IObama is going global with his war on success. Not content with blaming domestic bogeymen — the GOP, Rush Limbaugh, millionaires and billionaires, George Bush, “bad apple insurers,” the Chamber of Commerce, oil producers etal— for his administration’s inability to supply jobs, he has now ventured overseas. Achtung- it’s Germany’s fault! The buck, it turns out, stops everywhere but here.
In its semi-annual currency report, Obama’s Treasury department skewered Germany for pumping up exports, claiming that its large current account surplus weighed on the global recovery. It is such a nonsensical charge, given Germany’s relatively robust gains in consumer spending (compared to its neighbors) and the pivotal role played by that country in the EU’s survival, that it was immediately dismissed by German authorities, and rightly so.
Our “responsibility” buck always seems to land anywhere but on the President’s desk in the Oval office. Peek speculates that this may be the usual attempt of the administration to divert both blame and attention to others. In this case the reason to divert attention has to do with the NSA scandal and Germany’s fairly undiplomatic reaction to it. Regardless, Germany rejected the Treasury’s charge out of hand.
Germany has mostly accomplished it’s economic growth without resorting to all the fiscal shenanigans that have marked the US effort. And its economy has rebounded. Our economy, on the other hand, has remained moribund and the administration has demonstrated no ability to get it moving. So, as is its modus operandi, it blames others for its failure. Why cast blame? Peek explains:
It is especially ludicrous given that President Obama has long promised to double U.S. exports to ramp up our limp economy. He laid out that unlikely-to-be met ambition in 2010. Since then, exports have climbed only 40 percent in current dollars and a meager 25 percent adjusted for inflation.
Obama’s failure to reach his exports goal or to revive job growth through other means makes Germany’s progress all the more impressive – and possibly galling to the White House. German unemployment at 6.9 percent is near the lowest level of the last two decades, and German exports look likely to top those from the U.S. this year. Shame on them.
Indeed. After tapping Chancellor Merkel’s cell phone via the NSA, the newest attack on Germany goes after … their economic success? It’s bad policy to outshine the Obama administration even if you’re a supposed ally looking out for the economic welfare of your citizens.
But this is nothing new:
The attack on Germany’s economic policies comes at a time when missteps by the White House have soured our relations with many traditional allies. Obama’s embarrassing tap dance on Syria infuriated France and England, his overtures to Iran have created a serious breach with Saudi Arabia and Israel and numerous countries are smarting over reports of NSA intrusions.
A Gallup survey earlier this year (before the latest goofs) shows just 41 percent of the those polled in 130 countries approve of U.S. leadership, only a few points higher than at the end of George W. Bush’s presidency and down from 49 percent in Mr. Obama’s first year in office. Remember how President Obama was going to rebuild our international reputation?
I certainly do remember. That too was an empty promise made by a man content to “lead from behind”. This latest attack on Germany is just another in a long line of failures in foreign affairs by the Obama administration. However it is certainly consistent with the Obama penchant to lay blame for his failures on others.