European leaders do not seem to care for Obama’s policies any more than they cared for Bush’s, at least when it comes to economic policy.
Obama wants to borrow and spend to stimulate the economy; Europeans are very reluctant to do so. The demographic situations of the two continents are different
Kenneth Rogoff, the former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, said
Ultimately the debts must be repaid, and many European countries already are facing grim fiscal calculations between the prospective costs of bailing out their own financial system (as well as weaker states in Europe), together with adverse demographics.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany explained:
It is not, she pointed out, simply a philosophical difference. Borrow and spend today, repay down the road, is a particularly difficult proposition for a country with a shrinking population, she said.
“Over the next decade we will undergo a massive demographic change, and, therefore, borrowing is a greater burden for the future than in a country with a much more continuously growing population, as in the United States of America,” Mrs. Merkel said.
It might make sense in the U.S. to borrow now and pay later, because the number of taxpayers keeps growing. It is falling in Europe, and the decline will speed up. Workers are retiring, and there are few children to replace them.