Cost of US failure

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From the Bushes to Obama, the “war on terror” has never gone away. The cost in terms of lost lives of Arabs and Americans has been enormous: the cost measured in dollars has seen the United States’ debt rising towards $17 trillion.

Congress has been “kicking the can down the road” as its setting of a financial ceiling has missed many deadlines and is still going up and up. The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, might just manage to retire before the demise of the US dollar. He says he is “tapering off” his quantitative easing programme – another meaningless, pseudo-political economist phrase.

I was observing Barack Obama’s body language during his sojourn in St Petersburg, which was like an errant schoolboy: late for dinner, not paying attention to others and being constantly on the equivalent of a mobile phone to his homeland; proving his mind was elsewhere.

So, linking all of the above together could mean that justice demands yet another war, which of course has to be paid for, and this would necessitate breaking through the ceiling with a Gordian hammer wielded conjointly by the president and Congress.

One could say that only a few billion dollars more would be added to the taxpayers’ bill on the national debt: so what does it matter, as it can never be paid off with real money anyway.

Ronald Rankin

Coates House

Dalkeith