No tidings of joy from US politicians
Updated: 2012-12-28 07:28
By Chen Weihua (China Daily)
When US President Barack Obama left Hawaii and landed in Washington on Thursday, much of the east coast of the United States was being battered by thunderstorm, snow and even tornado. More than 1,000 flights were canceled on Wednesday alone.
After spending five days relaxing with his family, such a greeting should have served as a reminder of the harsh reality the nation faces. The golf and relaxation must have seemed surreal once he was back in the White House, especially when looking east toward Capitol Hill, less than two miles away.
In many countries, the public would be outraged if their leaders went on vacation with a "fiscal cliff" only days away. But few in the US seem to mind their leaders taking some time off to be with their families at this time of year no matter how bad the situation is.
And the situation in the US is grim: If Obama and the Republicans don't reach an agreement by Dec 31, automatic budget cuts and tax increases, about $600 billion in total, are set to begin in January, which will have a negative impact on US families, businesses and the economy as a whole.
Economists have predicted another recession for the US economy, which has just started to show signs of recovery. They have also forecast that food prices could double.
While most of the US news networks have focused on the impact the budget cuts and tax increases will have on US economy, few have paid much attention to the damage the "fiscal cliff" would inflict on other countries.
Vice-Premier Wang Qishan, who visited Washington a week ago, voiced deep concern about the negative impact of the "fiscal cliff" on the global economy, so have many others such as Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan.