Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why is Obama suddenly concerned with deficit spending?

Back in January (see here and here) and last September I opined on the rise of China's influence on the U.S. government. And on February 11 I mentioned this report by Bloomberg News:

China should seek guarantees that its $682 billion holdings of U.S. government debt won’t be eroded by “reckless policies,” said Yu Yongding, a former adviser to the central bank.

The U.S. “should make the Chinese feel confident that the value of the assets at least will not be eroded in a significant way,” Yu, who now heads the World Economics and Politics Institute at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said in response to e-mailed questions yesterday from Beijing. He declined to elaborate on the assurances needed by China, the biggest foreign holder of U.S. government debt.

Then yesterday (Feb 20), CNN reported on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to China:

"Human rights cannot interfere with the global economic crisis..." Clinton said in talks with China's foreign minister.

And now on February 21 the APs Liz Sidoti is reporting:

Barack Obama wants to cut the federal deficit in half by the end of his first term

Now returning to my February 11 post, I repeat:

it'll be difficult for the US to continue with the printing presses running 24/7... and not start getting some serious pushback from the people who financed our credit card spending spree for the past decade.

And since Obama just spent $787 billion to stimulate the economy, why is he suddenly concerned with deficit spending?

Well, I see these recent events:

1) Obama turned on the printing presses and says we must accept deficit spending.

2) China signaled its concern with money growing on trees.

3) Hillary spoke to Chinese officials privately.

4) Obama says he intends to address deficit spending.

Yup. I don't see how else to interpret these events.

The PRC* just told HRC to tell Obama to slow down his spending spree.

Sure looks to me as though America is now taking direction from China on monetary policy and fiscal policy.

Tim White

* People's Republic of China

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