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Argentina: chronic relapser
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d***@agent.com
2018-09-12 07:10:03 UTC
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Argentina Needs to Dollarize
Another crisis for the peso, as the central bank proves it is not to
be trusted.
By Mary Anastasia O’Grady, Sept. 9, 2018, Wall St. Journal

Another currency crisis is roiling Argentina, and a year ahead of an
election President Mauricio Macri is struggling to right the ship. The
peso has lost half its value against the U.S. dollar since January.
Inflation expectations are soaring.

The central bank has boosted its overnight lending rate to an annual
60% to try to stop capital flight. But Argentines are bracing for
spiraling prices and recession. According to Alberto Ramos, head of
Latin American economics at Goldman Sachs , markets now expect the
economy to contract more than 2% this year and inflation to top 40%.

The question that seems to be on everyone’s lips: Why is this
happening again, under a president who is supposed to embody change?
The answer: Because Argentina still has a central bank. To fix the
problem once and for all, it should dollarize.

It is worth pointing out that the troubles have been brewing for some
time. On a trip to Buenos Aires in February, I got an earful from
worried economists who said Mr. Macri was moving too slowly to
reconcile fiscal accounts.

In 2016 and 2017 the government continued spending beyond its means
and borrowing dollars in the international capital markets to finance
the shortfall. That put pressure on the central bank to print money so
as not to starve the economy of low-priced credit ahead of midterm
elections in 2017. It was a risky strategy since it was obvious that
the sun would inevitably set on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s easy money
policy.

A sharp selloff of the peso in May was followed by a new $50 billion
standby loan from the International Monetary Fund in June. With a
monetary base that is up over 30% since last year, in a nation that
knows something about IMF intervention, that was like waving a red
cape in front of a bull.

The peso was thus vulnerable when currency speculators launched an
attack on the Turkish lira last month and the flight to the dollar
spilled over into other emerging markets, including Argentina. After
decades of repeated currency crises, Argentines can smell monetary
mischief. A peso rout ensued.

There were strings attached to the standby loan. The fund told the
central bank to reduce the stock of its short-term, high-yield
domestic debt—known as Lebacs—because it is expensive to service. Not
rolling over that debt meant unleashing more pesos into circulation,
which would be inflationary. But the IMF limited Argentina’s capacity
to use the dollars from the loan to sop up those reserves.

The Argentine treasury was instead supposed to issue new debt. It did
so, but not to the extent necessary in the midst of a crisis. Plus,
markets understand that putting more pesos into government coffers is
not the same as extinguishing them.

The bank raised reserve requirements and interest rates, but the panic
was on. The demand to hold pesos has collapsed.

Mr. Macri rattled markets in late August when he said he would ask the
IMF for the next disbursement of the standby loan early. The peso
swooned again.

Argentine Finance Minister Nicolás Dujovne spent two days at the fund
in Washington last week, and on Wednesday he expressed optimism about
his boss’s request. The deal to release the funds early, Mr. Dujovne
said, could be voted on this month.

The peso rallied a bit on the news. Yet as any Argentine understands,
an IMF package can’t cure what ails the peso.

This is a long-term political problem that has manifested itself in
repeated economic crises since the mid-20th century. The government
lives beyond its means while taxes and regulations, particularly on
labor, make many businesses uncompetitive. The net effect is always
the same: ballooning debt and a lethargic economy followed by
devaluation or default or both.

Mr. Macri has sought to heal the country from the polarization that
flourished during the left-wing populism of his predecessor, Cristina
Kirchner. In the early years of Mr. Macri’s presidency, he emphasized
reconciliation and shied away from telling the nation how big a mess
he’d inherited. He also wanted to avoid a clash with the organized
special interests that have a history of going to the streets and
using violence to protect their privileges.

Mr. Macri has managed to cut back on electricity, water, gas and
transportation subsidies, but the fiscal deficit—including provinces
and municipalities—will still be around 5.5% this year and 3.5% in
2019, according to Aldo Abram, a director at the Buenos Aires think
tank Libertad y Progreso. More reforms are needed, and the risk of a
political and social upheaval is real.

The fastest way to restore confidence would be to put an end to the
misery caused by the peso and to adopt the dollar. Argentines could
then get on with the business of saving and investing in their
beautiful country. Mr. Macri has tried gradualism. Now is the time to
be bold.
d***@agent.com
2018-09-12 07:11:48 UTC
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Raw Message
***@agent.com wrote:

>Argentina Needs to Dollarize
>Another crisis for the peso, as the central bank proves it is not to
>be trusted.
>By Mary Anastasia O’Grady, Sept. 9, 2018, Wall St. Journal

[ALL COMMENTS 85]

Brett Goffin, 12 hours ago
Please, Ms. O'Grady, lets leave magical realism for writers and
magicians. It's not a problem of currency denomination but of rampant
spending and taxation that make the economy uncompetitive. (You
highlight this in one parragraph). There are at least half a dozen
South American countries that have its own currency and its own
central banks and, nevertheless, don't suffer from chronic inflation
problems as Argentina does.

Herve Guerin, 1 day ago
Already done some 30 years ago. It worked for a while, Then after 6/7
years they went on to nationalize all dollar deposits in exchange of
pesos and the cycle restarted as usual. Meanwhile most Argentines had
bought apartments in Miami with their fat dollar salaries ( a
secretary was making $80,000 p.a. !).This a country with a very
serious recurrent problem.
t

Charles Sullivan, 1 day ago
Three countries in Latin America use the U.S. dollar for their own
currency: El Salvador; Panama and Ecuador. To the best of my
knowledge none of these countries has had a problem with runaway
inflation since the conversion - quite a feat in Latin America.

Mike Van Horn, 1 day ago
Seems like key parts of the Argentine economy have already dollarized.
We were there early this year. Ordinary people told us how residential
real estate works.
To buy or sell a house, no banks are involved, because they are not
trusted. The buyer and seller meet at a notary. The buyer's family
members all trickle in, each carrying a wad of dollars
inconspicuously. They count their money out on the table, papers are
signed, and the seller's family divies up the cash and ambles out.
Rental properties. The landlord insists on receiving rent in
cash--dollars. This is a great way to build up dollar balances. The
landlords we talked with were school teachers, bus drivers, tour
guides--not property moguls.
Money changers. The best exchange rates were found in the back room of
stores that cater to tourists. Pesos for dollars. They competed to get
our dollars. They warned us to spend our pesos quickly. Oh, and I
bought a teeshirt on the way out.

Jose Niell, 1 day ago
A real dolarization means to do away with the Central Bank. A program
to that end is explained by professor Steve Hanke in a thoughtful
piece in the WSJ.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/erdogan-can-save-the-turkish-lira-1534110387?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=6
The bank would NOT be allowed to print pesos unless backed by dollars.
Such an arrangement would not be tolerated by the cleptocracies that
have run the country the last 75 years.

John Shniper, 1 day ago
Argentines have been spendthrifts with the supposed BOUNDLESS wealth
of their Country since it was founded in the 1820's. The Wealth
Delusion never goes away. Neither do Demagogues who frequently become
Dictators. Only when the Rest of South America pays its bills will
Argentina reluctantly fall in line.

Christopher Schons, 1 day ago
Argentina already did dollarize, almost thirty years ago. They
reverted to the peso after a decade. Why would things go better this
time?

Bill Wald, 1 day ago
Agree 100%. Excellent analysis. Unless a nuke war occurs, the US
dollar will be the world reserve currency for at least the next 10
years.

Tom Mathewson, 1 day ago
Good article, Ms. O’Grady, but very incomplete. Argentina tried a
version of this with a currency board in 1992. Apparently it worked
for a while but things eventually “went south” again. Calls were made
for full dollarization in ’99 but that didn’t occur, of course.

Could you write an article that compares 1992 with today, showing how
well the currency board worked and where it fell short? And, how
conditions today are similar and different from 1992, and even why
calls for dollarization failed in the intervening years?

In the meantime, for all of us these two articles are worth reading; I
haven’t yet, but will do so later today:

https://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/publications/economic-letter/1999/september/dollarization-in-argentina/
https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/dollarization-argentina

Niel Barabbas, 1 day ago
Seems to be working for Ecuador and El Salvador.

JUAN FORN, 1 day ago
It is reckless to propose a dollarization of the Argentine economy
without a lender of last resort which could "print" US dollars and
provide liquidity in the event of a run on the banks. It is not a
theoretical possibility, remember 2001.

Pedro Exposito, 1 day ago
Dollarization won't fix the underlying problems.
The problems are structural - uncompetitive economy, corruption, etc.
Corruption is the main driver of these and other issues, as in many
other countries.
The government needs to make combating corruption a top priority. This
would allow other mechanisms to work correctly.

JAMES W CUNNINGHAM, 1 day ago
This seems like a great idea if it would break the long and vicious
cycle there.

willard cummings, 1 day ago
Take heed USA, but unfortunately our pols won't do a thing unless
voters demand it. We'll see if we go to the brink or over the cliff.

Richard Krochmal, 1 day ago
"The more things change the more they remain the same." Just like
Mideast wars or partisan politics. Human nature is hard to change.
Change can only occur after major disasters such as the US nuclear
bombing of Japan. Germany had to be defeated in two world wars before
giving up its militaristic stance. The years pass and people quickly
forget the lessons learned from past disasters. Latin America is an
amazing place. Financial misbehavior seems to be in the DNA of many of
the people. Whether it was the Peron's or the Kirschner's, similar
popularist trends reappear without any regard to the lessons of the
past. They borrow money, go about their financial mischief and then
blame the bankers for their financial problems. The reason the IMF and
other banking organizations loan money to these countries is that they
are afraid of the economic turmoil that may occur if they don't. The
spillover effect is real as we saw from contagion of the Asian
financial crisis in the '90s.

Edmund Hackman, 1 day ago
I remember going down Florida Street in Buenos Aires in 2015 and all
I heard was “cambio”. How desperate at that time to see individuals
seeking US dollars . Sad to see a once beautiful resourceful country
plunging into economic chaos.

Stephen Carroll, 1 day ago
The problem in Argentina is not it's currency. The problem is it's
people. They are just not going to change. You know the next
politician to get into power is going to borrow and spend. You know
the good times will roll for a few years.

The only way to make Argentina have a sound monetary policy is for
foreigners to not buy their debt.

Loaning money to countries with a history of defaulting is dumb. You
are not doing any favors by feeding the money habit.

Hubbard Morris, 1 day ago
Borrow and default. Borrow and default. There has to be another way.

David McQueen, 1 day ago
Hope for inflation to cheapen the debt?

Hubbard Morris, 1 day ago
Largely, the debt is denominated in the USD and not the Peso, so
inflation within Argentina just tightens the vice.

Ernest N Passeos II, 1 day ago
I met an impressive college kid that helped get Macri elected.

PETER DOOLEY, 1 day ago
Once again, it sure is nice to be north of the border. No wonder
people walk thousands of miles to enter our fabulous land. USA! By the
way, if you don't like it here there are planes leaving every day.
USA!

Glenn Johnson Jr., 1 day ago
Whether or not Argentina dollarizes, "The net effect is always the
same"

RICHARD C LEVIN, 1 day ago
It seems the Argentinians don't learn from their mistakes. In March
of 1990 the inflation rate there was 20262.80 per cent. I can
remember an Argentine friend of mine telling me when he got paid he
would spend all the money as fast as possible while it still had
value.

Kevin Kilty, 1 day ago
Go long on socks.

Michael Scott Lavender, 1 day ago
They don't need dollarization, they need colonialization. hahaha
What a basket case.

Greg Brown, 1 day ago
just wait til the dollar collapses

victor Monreale, 1 day ago
Yes the dollar will cure the problem , example Ecuador did great, only
to be destroy by populism, but it was not the dollar, that is slowing
Ecuador now.
Set a date and exchange 40to 1 and is all set it will stop price
increase and inflation, at the same time open the economy to the world
and start the competition , that will control inflation and deficit.

MUNAWAR KARIM, 1 day ago
"Why is this happening again, under a president who is supposed to
embody change?" No Latin American country is immune from the culture
inherited from its Mediterranean colonisers (Portugal and Spain). It
is the culture of the hacienda, of the landlord and the peasant and
the Catholic Church. They have nothing in common except continuous
mutual hostility. From the Rio Grande to the Puento del Fuego, there
is nothing but simmering or outright civil war. In spite of lavish
resources these countries have never prospered nor will they ever
because they believe in collective mobs instead of individual
responsibility. Upheaval will follow upheaval far into the future.

THEODORE PETTYJOHN, 1 day ago
I agree. Culture matters...

Christopher Schons, 1 day ago
"Culture matters"? It's key to everything. Hence, with the possible
exception of Chile, Latin America will never, ever be a good place to
live for the average citizen. And, to a significant degree, the USA
is Latin Amercanizing .

John Shniper, 1 day ago
There are hopeful Exceptions to the Mercantilist/Neo-Feudal Curse.
Costa Rica is the top go to retirement locale for American retirees.
There is no net migration from Costa Rica. Chile has even a higher
Standard of Living than Costa Rica. Mexico without NAFTA would be a
Venezuela disaster and a Hundred Foot high Wall of Trump couldn't keep
out tens of millions of refugees from Stalinist Famines. Trump has got
a LOT of things right but on Trade he simply creates conditions for
tens of millions to flock to the United States.

Hubbard Morris, 1 day ago
Return to the silver Doubloon.

Paul R. Wisgerhof, 1 day ago
That won't work, as any Econ 101 class will tell you: "Bad money
drives out good." That is, Argentina would still have to print
currency that was "exchangeable for silver at a fixed rate at any
bank." We used to have silver and gold certificates that said that.
Along came the "greenback" after the Civil War, labeled as "legal
tender for all debts, public and private." We no longer have currency
backed by anything except the "full faith and credit of the USG."

Terence Favor, 2 days ago
"In 2016 and 2017 the government continued spending beyond its means
and borrowing dollars in the international capital markets to finance
the shortfall."

Isn't this what the US has been doing in increasing our debt over the
last 30 years?
The consequences cannot be avoided forever.
The government has to stop borrowing because we already owe more than
we can repay.

Stephen Keith, 1 day ago
The difference is that the US prints the currency that it borrows in.
We need never default. Just print more dollars. When Argentina,
however, borrows in US dollars, it has to find some way to get US
dollars to pay the loan back. With the peso collapsing, that gets
more difficult every day.

Maybe Argentina should work on its counterfeiting techniques. Or, rob
a bank. A US bank.

Robert Swininoga, 2 days ago
Chaos? In South America? Whaaaaaat?

Bryan Koenig, 2 days ago
"In 2016 and 2017 the government continued spending beyond its means
and borrowing dollars in the international capital markets to finance
the shortfall."

Sounds familiar? Trump and the Republicans are trying to cut
government debt "Obama Insurance" but the Democrats continue to
"resist" any type of fiscal responsibility.

Stephen Carroll, 1 day ago
The Democrats paint fiscal responsibility as racist.

John Dolan-Heitlinger, 2 days ago
Why don't all minor currencies dollarize or euroize? Sheesh. OK, yes
I know, the Euro if the Deutsche mark, but give some discipline to
your country.

rufus puckett, 2 days ago
just read the average resident in venezuela lost 17 lbs as the
inflation keep them from feeding the people

sad to think about

hope they can get things on track

Stephen Carroll, 1 day ago
To have socialism you must destroy democracy and the middle class. To
destroy the middle class you just need hyper inflation. After you
destroy the middle class you can end democracy with out much trouble.

Sara Baker, 1 day ago
And don’t let the populace have guns with which they can fight back.

Octavio Lima, 2 days ago
It does seem peoples all over simply do not learn from the lessons of
history about government profligacy. We keep on asking for the
government to "do something", instead of thinking of the long term
consequences.

David McQueen, 1 day ago
Actually, people "all over" simply act in their own short-term
interests. They either can't or won't see the long term possibilities
and ramifications of their actions. The problem is simply "human
nature" and all their inherent foibles.

Henry Miller, 2 days ago
An Argentine woman I met on an international flight told me she had
two sisters. Back around 2000 when the Peso collapsed and the economy
disintegrated, the one with a house got a free house, as the mortgage
debt was inflated away (more or less), the one with her life savings
in a bank lost most of her savings. She told me those with physical
dollars "got rich"; bank accounts denominated in dollars were
dishonored. And, that even though bank accounts were ravished, that
bank safe deposit boxes were respected. Reading Argentine economic
history is instructive, and frightening; and repeating.

Christopher Carswell, 2 days ago
Indeed, when I lived there from 2010 to 2012 it was such a twilight
zone. The economy was stable, but inflation was just so insane. There
were no printed prices on menus in restaurants, just stickers that
would be replaced every week. ATMs ran out of cash quickly (and
everyone pays in cash there), so what do people do? They draw huge
amounts when they can (including myself), depleting the ATM's even
further. I've ran out of money many times there, especially when
travelling, simply because places didn't accept debit cards and ATM's
were out of cash (most frequently on weekends). Coins also played a
large role in the market, with busses and trains using them almost
exclusively (travel cards weren't widespread in the busses yet), so
coins were actually more valuable than their face denomination.
Laundries also used them exclusively. So residents held onto their
coins, and shopkeepers didn't give you coins in change ("You owe me
later") when buying products.

Kenneth Johnson, 2 days ago
There is a lesson here for the USA.
But we won't learn from it.
We haven't for 20 years.
We'll just continue our government deficit explosion until the rest of
the world simply will no longer tolerate it.
And when that day comes, and it will, the dollar's role as the world's
reserve currency, and currency of trade, will be harmed, perhaps
beyond repair.
The only reason these chronic huge deficits haven't already led to a
US government fiscal crisis is because we still have this 'dollar
privilege'.
If you think the 2008 financial crisis was bad, a US government
fiscal crisis
will be far worse .
And where are the Republican 'deficit hawks'?
They flew away years ago.
Or am I missing something here?

George Simpson, 2 days ago
The TEA party tried but the SWAMP and RINOs resisted. Get rid of
McConnell and Ryan.

Octavio Lima, 2 days ago
Speaker Ryan tried for the entirety of his tenure in Congress to
reform entitlements and make things sustainable. He is not to blame,
Mr. Simpson. The people are also not prepared to deal with it, so the
politicians that represent the people are not to blame.

Kenneth Johnson, 2 days ago
Correct, Octavio.
There are so many American people and businesses dependent on
government spending now (38% of GDP) that I've given up hope for any
political action until a full blown government fiscal crisis
explodes.
And then the politicians will run around in a panic.

STEVE SHORTm 1 day ago
No they will be killed by mobs. The anger here is now beginning to
become violence. Look at how the democrats treat anyone who wants to
reform government largesse. Read all the false propaganda about hungry
Americans. I haven’t seen an overly skinny person in decades. America
is in much larger trouble than anyone understands. An economic crisis
could easily start another civil war. This time the red states will be
fighting the blues state elites.

William Smoakm 1 day ago
@Steve Short - Combine the events you describe and simultaneous
military action involving China, North Korea or Taiwan. The combined
results would be disastrous.

Charles Whieldon, 1 day ago
I believe the Democrats were also responsible for the outsized budget
this time. They wouldn't agree to spend more on Defense or national
security unless their favorite causes were also fully funded.
President Trump caught so much flack over this budget that he swears
he'll never again agree to such a spending bill. All I can say is
"we'll see."

David McQueen, 1 day ago
The U.S.A. has approximately 60% of the wealth of the entire planet.
There has been no pain associated with the national debt. The
politicians pay lip service to the debt but go right on spending
because, truth be told, spending federal dollars buys votes.

Deborah Pittman, 2 days ago
'Now is the time to be bold' ...yet again. They did this in the 90s
and it worked, but then they went back to their socialistic Peronist
ways. They can't seem to sustain an effort. Too bad, for it is a
beautiful, diverse country with abundant natural resources.

Michael Howerton, 2 days ago
Would someone remind me why I should care about Argentina?

Anthony Aaron, 2 days ago
Because they'll likely be the next group of illegal aliens to storm
the shores of the United States … and we'll get to support them - for
a long, long, long time.

Bryan Koenig, 2 days ago
A colleague at work, married a foreign. She brought her aging parents
over now their on government medical insurance. Did not pay one time
of taxes. They also vote.

James Strom, 2 days ago
A scary story. The best hope for Argentina is a switch to the dollar,
but we know that the dollar, considered alone, has its own massive
problems. The key to the puzzle is that the dollar is, relatively,
well-managed by comparison to other currencies. Dollarization will
give Argentina a temporary respite, but our Fed must do a better job
in turn.

ALAN SEWELL, 2 days ago
Dollarizing would help them in so many ways. Ecuador is a fairly
ridiculous country that is traditionally left-of-center, but they did
have enough sense to declare the US dollar their national currency.
They are one of four countries besides us that use the dollar as a
national currency.

Because of that, Americans can travel and even buy a residence in
Ecuador more seemlessly than in other Latin American countries.
There's no currency conversions to worry about, or devaluation fears.

Latin American nations don't have large enough economies or stable
enough political systems to maintain their own currencies, and they
should not attempt to do so. Our Federal Reserve is not above
criticism, but they are lightyears ahead of anything in Latin America.

JAIRO PUENTES, 2 days ago
It is ok to dollarize as long they have enough reserves to back up the
currency. Argentinians also have to stop using the credit pard to buy
in excess. They also should pay the bills and have good credit.

Christopher Carswell, 2 days ago
I think they buy on credit because the repayments will be cheaper in
the future due to inflation. Why pay full price for something now
when in 5 years time it will be 500% cheaper due to inflation? The
massive hike in interest rate is an attempt to combat this mentality.

Charles Whieldon, 1 day ago
I don't think the Argentines have anything on us. Americans, too, tend
to spend a lot on credit cards. Hardly anybody gives a thought about
whipping out a credit card when they don't have the cash in the bank.

Mike Van Horn, 1 day ago
I use credit cards for almost everything; I rarely carry cash. But we
pay our card balances to zero every month.

Duane Brosky, 2 days ago
What's with south American countries these days?

George Hagedorn, 2 days ago
Sometime in the 1990's, Argentina pegged its peso to the dollar, and
its economy boomed. I expect they should do it again...

Michael Murphy, 2 days ago
And we have Don the Con, our "populist" president ... the Juan Peron
of the Rest Belt. He gives a tax cut to the ultra-wealthy and
corporations and adds $1 trillion (minimum) to the national deficit.
But Don's heart is with the "little guy" out there.

Duane Brosky, 2 days ago
And here we have a comment so out of touch it makes one wonder if he
was on the right story or not.

William Abbott, 2 days ago
The "little guy" who was formerly a Democrat, put The Donald in the
office. And they will probably re-elect him. They love him. But,
unlike Peron, DJT isn't bankrupting the country trying to buy their
love.

George Simpson, 2 days ago
Mr. Murphy, may you need some education about who pays taxes. Mitt
Romney stated that 47% get a government check. Well guess what? MORE
than 47% don't pay income tax.

So why jump on 'a tax cut to the ultra-wealth and corporations' when
these people and companies are the ONLY ones paying taxes.

Charles Whieldon, 1 day ago
As I see it, the big winners in the new tax law are businesses, not
individuals. Reducing the corporate rate from 35% to 21% makes a world
of difference to companies. Those of us in higher tax brackets living
in high SALT states are going to be clobbered, however, on our
personal income taxes. Personally, I think the new law is good for the
nation regardless of any personal pain I might experience.

David McQueen, 1 day ago
Whieldon, nobody forces you to live in a high SALT state. I left
Pennsylvania in the 1960s, ended up in the "no state income tax" state
of Texas and never regretted it.

john gury, 2 days ago
"The fastest way to restore confidence would be to put an end to the
misery caused by the peso and to adopt the dollar" And what exactly
does that mean? Like the author is oblivious to the financial
history of Argentina circa 1991 to 2002 with US dollar pegs and how
that worked out.

Michael Wiggins, 1 day ago
John, you beat me to it.

I took a trip to Argentina in 1997. I remember the peso was floating
with the dollar so paying in US currency wasn't a problem. So
Argentina DID try to stabilize the peso once before ... it just wasn't
a lasting solution. I'm not sure doing it again would be useful.

Craig Howard, 1 day ago
It wasn’t a lasting solution because they stopped doing it.

Wayne Grabow, 2 days ago
On a recent trip to Argentina, all our hotels were priced in dollars,
not pesos; the dollarization has begun. What we see in Argentina can
happen here. In Argentina, people look to the government to take care
of them; government jobs are prized. Few want to think about the real
costs of government services.

Bruce Quinn, 2 days ago
Everyone who voted for the new USA multi trillion dollar deficit
should read this.

Duane Brosky, 2 days ago
We did but Obama was reelected anyway.

Robert Morea, 2 days ago
In fairness the "new" multi trillion dollar deficit, in contrast to
the 95% devaluation since the 1950, was more justified than most of
what went previously. It almost certainly avoided a banking collapse
and a depression. Now, sure, the (avoided) banking collapse and
depression had their own pathological causes, but you would be looking
in the wrong place as a voter interested in change if you looked at
the recent deficit.

Robert Hutchings, 2 days ago
It must be depressing to report on this same old stuff in the southern
hemisphere year after year. It really isn't news anymore - it's the
norm for that part of the world.

Jim Chapman, 1 day ago
Let’s send down Bernie on Sean Penn’s jet along with Lizzy
Warren.....one way trip please.

William Wahl, 2 days ago
"The government lives beyond its means while taxes and regulations,
particularly on labor, make many businesses uncompetitive." This
sounds like the exact path of the previous US administration. Perhaps
the real problem with Argentina lies with its present leader. When the
US got rid of Obama things made a turn for the better.

Bruce Quinn, 2 days ago
Things may be on a turn for the better as long as new deficits through
lower taxes pump money acutely and rapidly into the economy. Later
the deficits take their toll.

Eric Creviston, 2 days ago
Projected deficits are basically imaginary numbers. We DO have
deficits but they are based upon imaginary budgeting.

And anyway - If Mr. Obama were signing budgets (did he even ever do
that???) the Democrats and their base could not have cared less.

I know, I know, your handlers tell you to talk up deficits. But it's
not an effective tool to reduce support for Mr. Trump and the new US
economy. Just isn't.

Tell your bosses the smart play is keep on about Obamacare and the GOP
refusing to deal with that disaster - it's not sexy but it sure does
stick in the craw of most Trump supporters.

Seriously - I think most Democratic positions are nonsense but I could
be a much better anti-Trump troll that what I see in media.

Totally ineffective.
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