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Commentary: Frustrating fiscal talks expose deficiencies of U.S. political system

English.news.cn   2013-01-01 09:23:25            

by Ming Jinwei

BEIJING, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- The American people were once better known for their ability to make tough choices on difficult issues.

So it was really frustrating for many people in this part of the world when they woke up on the first day of 2013 and found out U.S. politicians had once again failed to reach a deal to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff".

After months of tough negotiations and angry finger-pointing, Democrats and Republicans seemed to have decided it was better to let their country, the world's largest economy, fall off the "cliff" than come to a sensible compromise.

Their failure will usher in automatic spending cuts and tax increases that could reach over 600 billion U.S. dollars. Because of this, the U.S. economy could possibly slip back into recession, dealing a severe blow to the global economy that had already been hit hard by the chronic European sovereign debt crisis.

It is not the first time in recent years when U.S. politicians choose to engage in senseless partisan fighting and flirt with potentially dangerous policies.

In 2011, they failed to reach a deal in time on raising the borrowing limit of the U.S. government, leading to a historic downgrade of the country's top-notch credit rating by a major global rating agency.

In these days, both Democrats and Republicans seem more intent on inflicting damage on their political adversaries than working out a better future for their country.

The Americans may be proud of their mature Democracy, but the political gridlock in Washington really looks ugly from an outsider's view.

For most people outside the United States, it is ridiculous that the Republicans are so hostile to any tax increases and the Democrats to any spending cuts.

For some, it even looks absurd when a political party should base their policy options entirely on rigid ideology.

Checks and balances are good for modern governments, but the bitter partisan fighting between Democrats and Republicans have far exceeded the reasonable need of good policy debate.

As the world' s sole superpower, U.S. domestic failures to reach deals on critical issues have implications for the whole world.

When U.S. politicians cannot even put their own house into order, many are wondering how anyone can expect them to help make this world, mired in dangerous geo-political crises and economic volatilities, a better place to live.

For U.S. politicians, an outsider's advice is readily available: Just forget about senseless partisan fighting now and do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Editor: An
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