I won't link directly to the Financial Times column because you have to register (you can if you want, just follow the link), but via Brad DeLong, Martin Wolf sees hard times getting worse:
In neither the US nor the eurozone, does the politician supposedly in charge – Barack Obama, the US president, and Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor – appear to be much more than a bystander…. Obama wishes to be president of a country that does not exist. In his fantasy US, politicians bury differences in bipartisan harmony. In fact, he faces an opposition that would prefer their country to fail than their president to succeed.
The CW is all about how there cannot possibly be a double-dip recession, don't worry about it. But there are plenty of real economists, not just guys who play one on TV, who feel differently. The world desperately needs a serious fiscal stimulus right now from the only country that can deliver, but we're getting the precise opposite. Here's another headline in the FT today: Global Manufacturing Grinds to a Halt. And another: Weak Data Add to Fears of Slowing Growth.
This ought to be absolutely terrifying President Bystander, not to mention the Chamber of Commerce and the rest of us. Economic contraction at this point would be catastrophic, quite possibly leading to a ruinous deflation that would stop economic activity in its tracks and simultaneously create a real, as opposed to a fake, federal debt crisis. But all we're hearing about is a fight over which night Obama is going to make a speech in which he makes some tepid proposals about tax breaks for businesses that hire veterans and similar pussy footing around, while the Republicans get ready to shut down the highway trust fund. This is nuts folks.