Robinson: You Crazy GOPers Need To Give This Austerity Thing Up

Liberals love government spending. They don’t like using their own money on it, of course. They refuse to send in extra money to the IRS, always wanting Someone Else to be taxed higher. But, they love government spending. And the elections in Europe remind me of a Ben Franklin quote “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” Excitable Eugene Robinson would like to herald in that end

(Washington Post) Economic austerity is a dangerous, self-defeating intellectual fad. Perhaps I should say that’s what it was, given Sunday’s election results in Europe. Perhaps I should also say good riddance.

Voters in France, Greece and even Germany – a hotbed of the austerity cult – told their political leaders, in no uncertain terms, that boosting economic growth is more important than cutting government spending. Here in the United States, I hope that Democrats, at least, were paying attention; I fear that the addled ideologues who control the Republican Party will never get the message.

These United States haven’t even had a chance to try austerity. The GOP only controls the House, and has not been able to really implement any sort of budget cutting. But, we have tried the “spend obscene amounts of money” route. How’s that worked so far? It’s almost three years since the official end of the recession, and the US is still stuck with high unemployment, huge numbers of people abandoning the job market, low consumer confidence, rising energy and food prices, the home market is still a mess, and the roads haven’t been fixed, despite Obama’s prolificant spending, including his “Stimulus”. Among other economic issues.

On Sunday, French voters elected Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande as president, ousting center-right incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in what amounted to a referendum on Sarkozy’s embrace of austerity.

But on Sunday, even Merkel got a message from voters: Her party was punished in local elections in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, where it appeared that a center-left, anti-austerity coalition would end up in control.

Also on Sunday, voters in Greece tried their best to say no to austerity. For them, sadly, it’s probably too late. The fiscal and debt crises there were so acute that the Greeks, from the start, have had only painful choices.

The anti-austerity votes included a huge number of neo-Nazi’s being elected in Greece, which the media dutifully calls “ultra-Right“. Which is strange since these elections were supposed to be about the far-left being elected on a “we need to spend a ton more money. We don’t really know how that will work, but, we want more money.” In fact, just like during Hitler’s time, these Nazi’s are far left progressives, just more extremist. Like progressives, they want more and more power held in the hands of the central government.

But putting a chokehold on government spending at a time when economies are just sputtering back to life – as the austerity fetishists have tried to do in Europe, and as Republicans solemnly pledge to do in the United States – is monumentally self-defeating. Governments end up magnifying the constituent parts of the economic crisis, not minimizing them.

Therein lies the problem with Liberal ideology: they think Government is the answer, not the problem (or at least part of the problem). Even before the Great Recession, most EU countries were mired in high unemployment and low GDP after decades of trying the huge spending government gig.

What Lefties like Robinson do not understand is that continuing to increase spending and social programs will eventually lead to complete collapse. Any uptick in the economy is temporary, masking the symptoms of complete insolvency. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc, will go bankrupt. That’s the reality. People in Europe thought of themselves only when going to the voting booth. They wanted money for themselves. So, they voted for some. Left side ideology in practice is a very selfish one.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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