La Dolce Deficit

Dolce Deficit Untroubled by its debts, Italy sails serenely on

Everyone knows how bad the U.S. budget deficit is. How it rolls like a tidal wave of red ink over the Administration and Congress, undermining the dollar, pushing up interest rates, shaking the international monetary system and threatening to put future generations of Americans in hock to foreigners forever. How, whenever moneymen gather, finance ministers moan, central bankers chide, and all stare in horrified fascination. How could America get itself into such a mess?

Now imagine a country that regularly runs annual budget deficits five times as bad as those of the U.S.; whose fiscal policy is so paralyzed by political...

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