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China Daily Website

Political paralysis: a hot topic in the US

Updated: 2012-08-01 19:27
( chinadaily.com.cn)

American politics need to change, but that will not come easily. Dealing with Washington's lack of unity is not necessarily easier than dealing with a government that can build bipartisan consensus, says an article in People's Daily. Excerpts:

It is unrealistic to expect that one election can break the long-standing bipartisan impasse in the United States and create a united and effective government.

Right now, the US presidential election has entered a critical stage. In less than 100 days, we will know whether President Barack Obama wins re-election, or whether Mitt Romney will take his place. However, in the history of the United States, there is no precedent that a president can win re-election with the country's unemployment rate higher than 8 percent and an economic growth rate less than 2 percent. In 2008, Barack Obama made history, but will he make it again?

Today, US bipartisan in the traditional sense is weakening significantly. The two parties oppose and undercut each other on major issues, making it difficult for many of the Obama administration's major policy initiatives to pass. On issues such as the national debt ceiling, immigration reform, tax reform, financial reform and employment law, some were shelved, while some were passed by a narrow margin, thus further widening the bipartisan rift.

Bitter confrontation between the two parties led to Washington's incapability to make decisions and made "political paralysis" a hot topic in the US. The US' current economic woes and social problems are rooted in its politics, whose polarizationhas reached an extreme. Without solving political problems, economic hardship and social troubles cannot be overcome, and the US' position in the world also will be challenged.

The problems facing the US are the institutional and structural problems of capitalism. Over the past 20 years, by enjoying the "Cold War dividend", the US was busy with strategic expansion, and paid no attention to institutional change. Although this election campaign has essentially became a great debate about the future direction of US development, it simply cannot help ease the political infighting, build bipartisan consensus or boost the economy.

American politics need to change, but that will not come easily.