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Can Obama match Britain's guts on budget cuts?

Amid widespread frustration over government spending, US politicians should heed British Prime Minister David Cameron's frank talk on debt – and his plan to spend only what his government takes in.

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When Cuba conceded that its economy had gone down the tubes, it sent delegations to far-off China, Vietnam, and Russia to learn how they ran their changing economies.

American politicians need not travel so far for some tips to ease their own struggling economy. A quick trip across the Atlantic to Britain these days would offer some intriguing hints.

There, a conservative new prime minister, speaking with almost Churchillian directness in a time of challenge, is calling on Britons to drastically curb the national debt, slashing the government budget by 19 percent, with a massive transfer of power “from the state to citizens, politicians to people, government to society.”

David Cameron, whose Conservative Party succeeded in ousting the left-wing Labour Party and forming a coalition with the minority Liberal Democrats, promises a total transformation from the old ways of doing things: from a “high-spending, all-controlling, heavy-handed state,” to “national unity and purpose, from big government to the big society.”

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