– Joe Biden’s mad solution for the euro debt crisis: a huge Obama-style bailout (Telegraph, Dec.20, 2011):
Joe Biden has caused a bit of a stir this week with his bizarre suggestion that “the Taliban per se is not our enemy”, just a decade on from the 9/11 attacks, carried out by al-Qaeda, and aided and abetted in Afghanistan by none other than the Taliban. The comments formed part of a wider interview on foreign policy given by Biden to Leslie Gelb of Newsweek. The stupidity of the vice president’s remarks on the war in Afghanistan were matched only by his reckless, almost surreal advice on the European financial crisis, which is so out of touch with reality that I doubt even the delusional Herman Van Rompuy would agree with him. Joe Biden’s solution for the EU’s massive debt crisis? A mammoth Obama-style bailout across the Atlantic, but this time in euros not dollars:
NEWSWEEK: I know you feel strongly and correctly that economics is really at the heart of not only our country’s future, but our power in the world. You have a bank crisis in Europe right now. And Goldman Sachs just said that at a minimum this means a 1 percent drop in our gross domestic product. And it’s likely to be much worse, as you know, because the Europeans can’t seem to conjure up the courage to tackle their problem seriously. What are we planning to do about it?
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: We’re using every bit of influence, cajoling — from my getting in a plane, to the president appearing, talking to [Treasury Secretary Timothy] Geithner, engaging, and being very blunt. I was in Greece [earlier this month]. The president has been meeting with our G8 partners and specifically — very, very specifically on the phone with everyone from [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel to [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy, [British Prime Minister David] Cameron. I mean we are engaged in making it clear to them that there is an answer. They’ve got to step up.
NEWSWEEK: But they’re looking to us for something we can’t give anymore, which is cash to bail them out.
BIDEN: We’re not going to. These guys at the end of the day are going to have to choose: they either lose now or lose later. And if they lose later, they lose real, real big.
NEWSWEEK: And it’s got to be their bailout, not ours?
BIDEN: Exactly right. We did our bailout. They’ve got to do their bailout.
Biden’s comments shouldn’t come as a surprise considering his risible track record on Europe and US foreign policy in general. After all, this is the man who declared in a speech to the European Parliament last year that Brussels was the real “capital of the free world” (watch the video here):
As you already know, ladies and gentlemen, not only am I pleased to be back here in Brussels for the second time as Vice President — as you probably know, some American politicians and American journalists refer to Washington, DC as the “capital of the free world.” But it seems to me that this great city, which boasts 1,000 years of history and which serves as the capital of Belgium, the home of the European Union, and the headquarters for NATO, this city has its own legitimate claim to that title.
In the same speech Biden heaped praise on the fundamentally undemocratic Lisbon Treaty, and ludicrously described the European Parliament as “the bastion of European democracy”:
As a lawmaker for more than 36 years in our Parliament, I feel particularly honored to address the European Parliament. President Obama and I were the first running mates in the last 50 years in America to make it to the White House from our legislative bodies. So we both come to our executive jobs with a deep appreciation for the work you do here in the bastion of European democracy.
Together with my former colleagues in the United States Congress, you and I represent more than 800 million people. Stop and think about that for a moment: two elected bodies that shape the laws for almost one-eighth of the planet’s population. That’s truly remarkable.
And now under the Lisbon Treaty, you’ve taken on more powers and a broader responsibility that comes with that increased influence. And we welcome it. We welcome that, because we, the United States, need strong allies and alliances to help us tackle the problems of the 21st century, many of which are the same but so many are different than the last century.
Fortunately, as I’ve noted previously, the views of the Obama administration, with its history of economic failure, have become an irrelevance on the EU crisis. After all, the US administration’s $787 billion taxpayer-funded “stimulus” was a failure, notable largely for its contribution to fueling the biggest budget deficit since World War Two. With their track record, Barack Obama and Joe Biden are probably the last two leaders on earth to be giving advice on a debt crisis issue, and the message coming from Washington is clearly the wrong one. The best thing that European leaders can do is to study the economic policies of the Obama presidency and do exactly the opposite, by cutting spending, ending excessive borrowing, slashing the size of the public sector, lowering taxes, freeing businesses from red tape, and taking a huge axe to big government.