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US needs to put common sense before ideology.

It is a familiar tune that sounds a warning of increased volatility on global financial markets. US politicians are struggling to reach an agreement on a budget and to increase the country's debt ceiling, raising the danger that the government may default on its debt and shut down.

For now, markets remain relatively blase, having seen it all before. But, the longer the brinkmanship continues in Washington, the more volatile the financial markets will become -- at a time when the global -- and US -- economy can least afford it.

Unfortunately the deadlock has little to do with the state of the US economy or its fiscal policies. Rather, it is being caused by a case of ideology over common sense.

Those Republicans who are rabidly opposed to president Barack Obama's health care reforms, are trying to remove its funding from the US budget. The Democrats are refusing to budge on their defence of his signature legislative achievement. The last time there was a deadlock over the US budget, the country's investment rating was downgraded, roiling the markets, although the effects were not long-lasting.

US politicians have every right to fight for their beliefs within their system of government. However, as the wardens of the world's largest economy and the international reserve currency, they must also recognise that they have responsibilities beyond their own self-interest. New economic powers are emerging and global economy will not always be in the thrall of the US.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 29, 2013
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