British Prime Minister David Cameron took a brave step this past week, announcing that his coalition government (he's a Conservative working with the Social Democrats) would move boldly to reduce its staggering budget deficit. Yes, staggering; it's 11.4%
the size of the overall economy, but no, not so different from ours at 8.9% of the U.S. economy.
What the Brits are going to do is (gasp, shudder!) raise taxes and cut public spending. Cut? Yes. Retirement benefits will start later. Thousands
of government jobs will be eliminated. Subsidies to things like the BBC will shrink. Some taxes will go up.
David Broder, in the Washington Post, writes that British friends of his say Cameron can only do this because he heads a coalition government and wonders whether President Obama, if the Republicans make big gains in the midterm elections, might try to do the same thing.
I hope so. I hope he does something. So far, our only response to a very serious and worsening fiscal mess seems to be prayer. I'm not at all sure than anybody is listening.