Originally posted by Sleepyguy
Holy Orwell, Batman!
Europe isn't suffering from balanced budgets. Europe is suffering from excesses. And Obama isn't saving us from excesses, he's sending us down the same friggin path as Europe. And no one's laughing.
Two things sank the European economy. One was the failure to regulate banking. The other was the collapse of tax revenues when the banking sector failed. It was not a result of excessive public spending. Reducing public spending, furthermore, will not regenerate tax revenues - it is a self destructive cycle. Spending falls, tax revenue falls, spending has to fall again.
Even then, when public spending is cut (obviously it has to be controlled) then what goes and what is retained? The belief across Europe is that the wealthy retain their advantages while the vulnerable are demonised. Spending is not falling to zero - but social welfare spending is heading that way in many important areas that ought to be protected. That is not about lack of public money - it is about priorities.
Greece, Italy and Ireland have specific and different problems. Greece and Italy certainly need to modernise their systems of taxation and public spending. Each has a bizarre history and a weak democratic system. Ireland was suckered into promising to guarantee the incompetent investments of corrupt and under-regulated banks with taxpayers' money, sinking an underlying sound economy with the poisonous excess of criminal cowboy capitalism. While it was the corrupt Irish Government that refused to control the excess of its financial sector, it was not Irish money or Irish capitalists who had billions to gamble with in their banks. It was British, American and other corporate tax dodgers. Similarly, German banks in particular bankrolled crazy spending in Greece and now want their "investments" back, when any responsible bank would never have provided Greece with the level of credit it received. Irresponsible lending by poorly regulated banks. That is what is wrong and an under regulated free market is not the source of a remedy.