Did you hear the one about the socialist who just took control of the wheel of France? Instead of tapping on the breaks and straightening out as the cliff approached, he announced plans to floor it and spin the vehicle as hard to the left as possible.
Apparently, Francois Hollande’s plan to save France is to tax rich people at 75 percent of their wealth, hire a bunch of teachers, and spend a whole lot of money. And when France spends even more of the money it doesn’t have they’ll somehow wake up one morning and basic math will have granted the socialists a reprieve. Good plan, guys. I’m looking forward to seeing how that works out for you.
I generally don’t like writing about dead people or dead countries, but I’ll make an exception today. Besides, Mercatus Center’s Veronique de Rugy does a good job explaining just how brain dead our European friends are:
France’s election is supposedly a sign of a backlash against austerity. But spending data shows that the French government hasn’t cut spending or implemented serious reforms. Where are the cuts? Where is the austerity? Yet, newly elected president Francois Hollande has announced that he will jump start the economy by spending more and balance the budget with more taxes. It’s a recipe for disaster.
If the economies of Spain, France, the United Kingdom, and other European nations are suffering, it’s not because of “savage” spending cuts. When spending was actually reduced, the cuts have been relatively small compared to the size of the problem and meaningful structural reforms were seldom implemented. It’s because small spending cuts are overwhelmed by large tax increases.
The socialist kids across the pond are celebrating victory over austerity measures that never happened. It’s really that simple. And when the rich people move and the accounting smoke fades away they’ll be left with the cold, hard truth. And then it will get ugly. Note: France has a history with “ugly.”
I write on the United States because at least we still have a pulse. $16 trillion dollars of debt has a lot of hearts racing right now, but we’re alive. We still have time to get financially healthy before the gluttony does us in.
In the mean time, I have some more reading to do on Europe, my favorite dead man walking.