The biggest failure of the Obama Presidency? Without a doubt his failure to address the fiscal crisis facing the United States. Instead of providing leadership after the report and recommendations of his own appointed Presidential Commission (Simpson-Bowles)--he did nothing. Failure to lead, failure to act, that is his undeniable legacy on this issue. So where does this leave us? Completely vulnerable to "catching" the "Eurozone disease"--
Agenda | Irwin Stelzer: Euro-Zone Shark Still Has Its Appetite - WSJ.com: "Bankrupt Greece; junk-rated Portugal pleading with Angola for inbound investment; jobless Spain, facing some interest rates that have doubled in the past month; and recovering Ireland have already fallen to the bond vigilantes. Growth-free Italy is fighting a rearguard action, facing unsustainable interest rates despite the stellar reputation of its newly appointed technocrat prime minister, Mario Monti; Belgian debt, now equal to its GDP, has been downgraded, in part because of the inability of this seat of the EU to form a new government. France, consumer confidence dropping, is likely next. . . . The failure of the supercommittee to find some trivial deficit reductions means America might also slip into the ungovernable category. And the Federal Reserve Board is imposing new stress tests to determine whether leading banks can withstand a wave of sovereign- debt and bank defaults in Europe. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer is not alone in arguing that the euro-zone disease, unless cured, might well turn slow growth in the U.S. into recession, and scupper any chance President Barack Obama has of avoiding a forced return to Chicago in 2013. Which is why Mr. Obama will do more than present German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the Presidential Medal of Freedom when she arrives in Washington Monday evening. He and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner hope to persuade her to stem the rot. Whether she is prepared to take advice from the team that has driven American deficits and debt to such levels that their nation's debt has been downgraded while Germany's remains triple-A is uncertain. . . . "
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