The West's years of unsustainable promises on spending are hardly a model of democracy. When elected leaders, such as Rhode Island treasurer Gina Raimondo, tell the truth on how to rein in costs, they are democracy's heroes.
The US Department of Defense has said that the air-defense program known as MEADS will never be operational. Yet Defense Secretary Leon Panetta insists that Congress reinsert $400 million in the defense budget for the program. Amazingly, Congress is falling for his line.
Driven by the euro crisis, 11 European nations led by Germany propose a tighter union with more democracy. As a new model of governance and shared sovereignty, it would be one of old virtues designed for tougher global competition.
The Great Recession of 2008/09 delivered the worst blow to the global economy since the 1930s. But in a few nations, 2012 is turning out to be worse than 2009 in terms of economic growth. Europe's debt crisis, the general slowing of the world economy, and domestic political troubles have played a role in undercutting 2012 growth for one or more of these four nations. Can you guess who they are?
In bold moves, central banks in the US and Europe promise indefinite spending to boost markets. The Federal Reserve and European Central Bank may be financial backstops but they can't pitch certainty into an economy.
Tomorrow, Dutch elections and the German Constitutional Court's decision on the eurozone bailout fund have the potential to shake up the plan for Europe's debt crisis – again. Europe must shift away from piecemeal, stopgap measures and set the framework for a true banking union.