From Bad to Worse for Rousseff

The Roots and Future of the National Crisis

A Brazilian judiciary employee, dressed as Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, attends a protest calling for the cancellation of a presidential veto of a bill that would increase their salaries, in front of the National Congress in Brasilia, Brazil August 18, 2015.  Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters

The political and economic crisis that is shaking Brazil goes far deeper than the booms and busts that have characterized the country’s recent history. With the economy paralyzed and public debt soaring, Brazil’s sovereign debt rating has been reduced to junk. Public approval of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, now in her second term, has sunk below ten percent. And Rousseff’s leftist government, led by the Workers’ Party (PT), is hanging by a thread in the Brazilian Congress due to a deep split with its coalition partners over the austerity measures Brazil that needs to control its fiscal crisis.

These problems are too large to be fixed by tweaks to economic policy or by modest political maneuvering. The crisis arose out of Brazil's populist economic model; to resolve it, that model needs to change. Under Brazil’s economic system, first enshrined by Rousseff's predecessor, Luiz Inácio Lula

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