Lessons from Greece in US Debt Crisis
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Despite public outrage, Greece has agreed to spending cuts and tax increases, although even those measures might not keep the country from going bankrupt. If the US doesn't bite a similar bullet, will its "full faith and credit" be suspect in the eyes of the world? Also, a drone strike in Somalia signals an Obama strategy shift, and comedian Stephen Colbert keeps a straight face in Washington.
Banner image: Demonstrators clash with riot police in front of the Greek Parliament on June 29, 2011 in Athens. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images
Drone Strike in Somalia Signals Strategy Shift ()
Last week, US drone aircraft fired on two leaders of al-Shabab. That's an Islamist group in Somalia affiliated with al Qaeda. The attack reflects President Obama's evolving counterterrorism strategy, focused on threats to the US homeland. That's according to Karen DeYoung, senior diplomatic correspondent for the Washington Post.
Playing Chicken with the US Economy ()
After yesterday's riots over austerity measures, Athens was quiet today as the Greek parliament put the final touches on spending cuts and tax increases designed to unlock $17 billion in aid from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Meanwhile, ratings agencies say they might lower America's credit score if investors even think the debt ceiling might not be raised by August 2. House Speaker John Boehner says that deadline is "artificial," while President Obama accuses Republicans of favoring fat cats over veterans and kids. Should both parties pay more attention to what a default by Greece might do, not just to Europe's economy but America's as well? Will economic brinksmanship cause the world to lose faith in America, a country that has never failed to pay all its bills?
- Nick Malkoutzis: Kathimerini (English-language edition), @NickMalkoutzis
- Zanny Minton Beddoes: Economist
- Jacob Kirkegaard: Peterson Institute for International Economics, @PIIE_com
- Ron Fournier: National Journal, @ron_fournier
FEC Approves Stephen Colbert's SuperPAC ()
After a hearing today before the Federal Election Commission, one reporter said, "Even a gifted comedian can't make campaign-finance law funny." But Stephen Colbert did get at least part of what he asked for, permission to form the Colbert SuperPAC, or Political Action Committee, so he could collect and spend campaign money, without being required to disclose where it came from. Dave Levinthal is communications director for the Center for Responsive Politics, and edits its website, OpenSecrets.com.
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