James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - Time for US to put aside party political positioning (From This Is Wiltshire)
James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - Time for US to put aside party political positioning
12:00pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in Latest News
Do you remember hearing about the US subprime mortgage crisis? It dimly wafted across our national news media for a short time. Few listeners knew what it was; no one was worried; house prices continued to soar; and the banks carried on their merry way apparently oblivious to the storm which was about to hit them as a result.
I just wonder whether the current seizing up of the US government because of their inability collectively to agree to a budget may not have some of the same consequences? It is theoretically possible that if they do not come to an agreement soon, the US will have to start defaulting on some of its bonds or overseas loans, which could have devastating consequences for the world’s economy.
The US government not currently operating is already having a serious affect on the domestic US economy. A slight breeze in the US can become a pretty cold wind in the rest of the world, and with some of the tourist attractions still out of action, some people are having their holidays cancelled.
Having said that, I cannot believe that US politicians will topple the world economy into recession or worse for largely party political reasons. I have my doubts about President Obama’s healthcare reforms, their costs, and the impact which that will have on taxpayers. So I have a great deal of sympathy with the position of the Republicans who control the House of Representatives. My love of our NHS also prompts a degree of sympathy for the Democratic Party which controls the Senate as well as the White House – a credit card as a prerequisite for medical care is inhumane.
Yet my main concern is about the American constitutional arrangements which can make this kind of impasse even possible. At least in the UK you can be sure of clear and strong government; of decisions being made, and of the government continuing no matter what disagreements politicians may have.
It all comes from the American War of Independence when the revolutionaries were so unhappy about our monarch that they produced a constitution which was actually designed to ensure that no one could do anything much.
I hope that the US politicians will put aside their party-political positioning and think about the good of all of the people of America, and the wider world.
They must not allow the healthcare funding crisis to become another subprime mortgage one.
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