Socialists party in the street in France, victorious over the austerity measures that never really existed.

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.


  1. Europe has just provided a real illustration as to why they have ceded global leadership over the last century and why that decline will continue if not accelerate. For decades Europeans have believed they could have the proverbial free lunch and despite the reality of a debt induced financial collapse, they are voting for socialists who are promising an even better free lunch. Europe is in for a very rough ride in the coming months and years.

    1. My fear is that these people freaked out after putting their toe in the austerity water. When they get pushed into the pool because there isn’t any other choice, the temper tantrum they throw is going to be ugly. What’s worse, we have people in the United States who look to Europe as a role model. One of them currently resides in the White House…

    2. I share your fear about some people here. At its core the Obama message is not that different than we are seeing from the left in Europe. What is different here is there is not the same tradition of relying on government social programs. This November will be the test if America will join Europe on their “Thelma & Louise” last ride.

  2. Good article.

    What scares me more than France’s new (or not new) direction is that the Neo-Nazi fascist Golden Dawn party in Greece got 7% of the vote in their recent elections. If France indeed heads in the wrong direction, they could end up like Greece. And we all know that poor, desperate people can be swayed by fascist regimes (Germany during the 30’s and 40’s anyone?).

    1. If you haven’t seen this, it’s quite informative. He also gets a lot of his info from a conservative writer. Really makes the point that taxing and spending aren’t the solution to our nation’s fiscal problems.

      It’s going to take shared sacrifice, in the form of cuts and raised taxes, to solve it. I think funding and fixing education will also help our children grown up equipped to solve current and future problems. A nation of poorly-educated, easily-led sheep working for new-age robber barons isn’t going to solve anything.

    2. I watched this awhile ago, although I was annoyed because I got home around 10:30 p.m. and I was like, “20 minutes for this thing?! Arrrg.” I watched all of it, wrote a blog, and passed out. That’s why, when I see entire news cycles spent on the “Buffett Rule” as if that can solve any problems, I just shake my head. It does nothing to address the real problem and only serves to divide people along class lines.

      Anyway, I do appreciate the share though.

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