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Meanwhile, ratings agencies and financial gurus continue to warn of a reckoning in the United States, whose debt crisis arguably has been only postponed by more immediate concerns about overspending in Europe.

U.S. deficit levels are comparable to those of some crisis-stricken European countries, but U.S. debt markets currently have the advantage of being considered safe havens among global bond investors.

Andrew B. Busch, global currency strategist with BMO Capital Markets, said investors have been pleased with European efforts to put their fiscal houses in order, and now are starting to focus on the unfavorable comparison with the United States.

“The U.S. continues to stick its head in the sand and ignore the animal mating calls of austerity measures” coming from Europe, he said. Like many other analysts, he thinks “a crisis may need to develop before [Washington] wakes up and takes action.”

Mr. Busch said the U.S. will also have to tackle its burgeoning retirement and health care programs to tame the deficit, possibly raising the retirement age like France and other European nations. Left unattended, the U.S. will find itself engulfed in a debt crisis as early as 2013, he said.

A debt commission established by Mr. Obama and charged with coming up with recommendations on taming the deficit is looking at options for returning Social Security, Medicare and other programs to solvency.

It will report its findings in the fall, but so far, the far-reaching changes needed in federal programs have not been part of the political debate leading up to the midterm elections.

To be sure, many economists and investors agree with Mr. Obama that for now, the focus should be on maintaining stimulus wherever possible and ensuring growth continues in the world economy.

Billionaire investor George Soros this week criticized Germany for slashing its budget and advocating monetary tightness at a time it could afford to spend more and help other more vulnerable European nations grow out of their debt problems.

Germany’s policy is a danger for Europe; it could destroy the European project,” he told the German weekly Die Zeit. “Right now, the Germans are dragging their neighbors into deflation, which threatens a long phase of stagnation.”

Canada, which is hosting the Group of 20 summit in Toronto this weekend, is aiming to try to bridge the gulf in viewpoints by urging a “balance” on budget issues, said Bank of Canada Governor Mark J. Carney.

“Nobody should be looking to balance their budget next year,” as long as the global recovery remains “uneven and fragile,” he said in an interview with Reuters Insider.

“Nor should anybody be in a position where they think there’s no need to start laying out a plan to stabilize their debt position, the United States included.”