New York Times Columnist Realizes (OMG!) That Euro Socialism Really Blows

Will wonders never cease.  I’m surprised this got past the NYT censors.

Via Michael Walsh at Big Government.

Credit where credit is due: in this case, this story by Steven Erlanger of the New York Times:

“Across Western Europe, the “lifestyle superpower,” the assumptions and gains of a lifetime are suddenly in doubt. The deficit crisis that threatens the euro has also undermined the sustainability of the European standard of social welfare, built by left-leaning governments since the end of World War II.

Europeans have boasted about their social model, with its generous vacations and early retirements, its national health care systems and extensive welfare benefits, contrasting it with the comparative harshness of American capitalism.

Europeans have benefited from low military spending, protected by NATO and the American nuclear umbrella. They have also translated higher taxes into a cradle-to-grave safety net. “The Europe that protects” is a slogan of the European Union.

But all over Europe governments with big budgets, falling tax revenues and aging populations are experiencing rising deficits, with more bad news ahead.

With low growth, low birthrates and longer life expectancies, Europe can no longer afford its comfortable lifestyle, at least not without a period of austerity and significant changes. The countries are trying to reassure investors by cutting salaries, raising legal retirement ages, increasing work hours and reducing health benefits and pensions.”

……I don’t want to spoil the fun by listing the bad news; that’s Erlanger’s job. But having lived in Europe for a good deal of my life, let me just say this news doesn’t exactly comes as a shock to those of us who spent many hours being lectured in Parisian cafes, German beer gardens, English and Irish pubs, Hungarian nightclubs and Russian gangster hangouts about the superiority of the European way of life over the savagery of the States.

Nothing cures the illusions of a socialist nanny state  like a swift kick in the ass from economic reality. Right now, Europe is getting its collective ass kicked.

Still think Obama’s “spread the wealth” crap is such a good idea?

14 thoughts on “New York Times Columnist Realizes (OMG!) That Euro Socialism Really Blows”

  1. [Are saying the “stimulus” wasn’t a sham, and that Obama won’t raise taxes through ObamaCare and other measures?]

    All one needs to do is take a drive around Colorado to see all the road projects financed through the stimulus. Those projects have created jobs and improve our infrastructure.

    As far as taxes, you admit that you lied when you claimed Obama didn’t cut taxes. But what’s needed is for the Bush tax cuts to be rolled back so we can get back on our way to a balanced budget, like we had when Bush first took office.

    1. Ben,

      Who really benefitted from that “stimulus”? Did you read the list of beneficiaries? Organizations like the SEIU were at the top of the list. The American taxpayer got shafted. My taxes didn’t get cut. No one I know, retired (or if they’re lucky) employed, got a tax cut.
      There are no tax cuts planned in Obama’s government-run economy. Liar. You really don’t know what you’re taking about.

      You haven’t even bothered to read the ObamaCare bill have you? I’m not surprised. The Dems didn’t either. They just passed it so as Pelosi said, “they could see what was in it”. Obama shifted in reverse so fast on his “no tax increase for those making below $250,000”, that the objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear. He’s not just a liar, he’s an abject liar.

      You want to see how nothing has changed? Try driving through the former rust belt where I live in NE Ohio. Business boarded up. Jobs gone. Homes foreclosed, thanks to the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac trainwreck. All that needs to be done is to give businesses the tax breaks they need to flourish, cut back on spending, and stop trying to stifle free market enterprise with draconian socialist agendas.
      It’s all bullshit, and you’re just too in love with The Annointed One’s spiel to believe anything else. Oh, by the way, the national debt just hit $13 trillion and counting. The individual government-imposed debt is now $6,165 per citizen. But remember, sweetpea, Obama gave you a “tax cut.”
      We need to get these Dem asslowns out of office so we can get back to being a productive country again.

      SFC MAC

    1. Ben,
      Are saying the “stimulus” wasn’t a sham, and that Obama won’t raise taxes through ObamaCare and other measures?

      SFC MAC

  2. [He hasn’t cut any taxes, nor does he intend to.]

    You’re a liar.

    Nearly a third of the cost of the stimulus, $288 billion, comes via tax breaks to individuals and businesses. The tax cuts include a refundable credit of up to $400 per individual and $800 for married couples; a temporary increase of the earned income tax credit for disadvantaged families; and an extension of a program that allows businesses to recover the costs of capital expenditures faster than usual. The tax cuts aren’t so much spending as money the government won’t get — so it can stay in the economy. Of that $288 billion, the stimulus has resulted in $119 billion worth of tax breaks so far.

    1. Ben,

      You’re a brainless dolt. That “truth-o-meter” just caused my bullshit detector to peg. The biggest liar is Obama. That so-called “stimulus” was the economic equivalent of Potemkin Village.


      The Associated Press has a story this morning called “Unemployment challenges Obama’s economic narrative.” No kidding.

      I never get tired reminding stimulus advocates that before the stimulus bill was passed, the president scared the bejesus out of many people by claiming that if the Stimulus bill wasn’t passed, unemployment would reach 8.8 percent. Also, his team promoted the idea that the stimulus would create 3.3 million jobs (not just saved). They even had numbers and a model to prove it.

      So the president got his cash, $789 billion which grew to $862 billion, and unemployment kept going up. It even passed 10 percent at one point and is now stagnating at 9.7 percent–where it’s scheduled to stay for a while.

      And it’s not the only “job bill” that was passed. There was one in March 2020 ($18 billion) and another one in April 2010.

      By the president’s own logic, the stimulus failed. That’s why he has shifted his argument. Sure, the economy lost jobs, he now says, but without the stimulus it would have lost nearly 2 million more jobs. How you go about proving that this is not true is impossible and this is why it’s not powerful. It doesn’t make it right.

      ……If you want a true picture of the failures of the Obama stimulus bill think about the following. Not only is unemployment high and will stay this way for a while, but the people who are unemployed stay unemployed way longer than they used to. The chart below shows that no job bill or stimulus is changing that trend. In fact, it might be creating the trend.

      More facts:

      Even the liberal Associated Press is now chiding President Obama for falsely claiming that his proposed tax on uninsured people is not a tax. It is a tax increase, the AP says, and it would be enforced by the IRS: “Memo to President Barack Obama: It’s a tax. Obama insisted this weekend on national television that requiring people to carry health insurance – and fining them if they don’t – isn’t the same thing as a tax increase. But the language of Democratic bills to revamp the nation’s health care system doesn’t quibble. Both the House bill and the Senate Finance Committee proposal clearly state that the fines would be a tax.”

      The AP also notes that the Administration’s proposed health-care tax increases contradict “Obama’s campaign pledge on taxes”: “‘I can make a firm pledge,’ he said in Dover, N.H., on Sept. 12, 2008. ‘Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.’ He repeatedly promised ‘you will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime.’”

      ……The costly cap-and-trade energy tax passed by the House and supported by Obama would lead to big tax increases, Administration officials privately have conceded, even though they publicly claim otherwise. “Officials at the Treasury Department think cap-and-trade legislation would cost taxpayers hundreds of billion in taxes, according to internal documents circulated within the agency and provided to The Washington Times” by CEI. It could raise household taxes by $1761 per year, equivalent to a 15 percent tax increase. It would also result in “loss of steel, paper, aluminum, chemical, and cement manufacturing jobs.”

      ……Americans for Tax Reform summarizes the tax increases in ObamaCare: an individual mandate tax of $900 per individual or $3800 per family (if you don’t have health insurance); an employer mandate tax of $400 per employee if health coverage is not offered; an “excise tax on high-cost health plans”; a “medicine cabinet tax”; capping Flexible-Spending Accounts (FSA’s); abolishing most HSAs; and increasing tax penalties for HSAs.

      $1 trillion in new taxes over a 10 year period, starting in 2011:

      Ben, you’re such a putz.

      SFC MAC

  3. [If we collapse—which is quite feasable given Obama’s fiscal stupidity—there will be no recourse.]

    We were on the verge of collapse a few years ago! What specific Obama policies are you against? His tax cuts? The five year stimulus plan ($229 billion which has been spent so far and contains over $200 billion in tax cuts)?

    1. Ben,

      What tax cuts??? Are you really that dense? Have you read about what’s coming? He hasn’t cut any taxes, nor does he intend to. Matter of fact, ObamaCare contains lots of tax increases. He also broke his promise (*shocker*!) of not increasing the taxes of those earning below $250,000.


      That so-called “stimulus plan” was one of the bigest con jobs ever pulled on the American people.

      Where that money went:

      Oh, and about those “stimulus-created jobs”?

      I see a lot of astonomical spending, debt, and deficit. At this rate, the collapse is not a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of when.
      Take a good look at the debt clock:

      America is a Greek tragedy in the making:

      America’s financial situation is unsustainable. In 2009 the federal government spent $3.5 trillion but collected only $2.1 trillion in revenue. The result was a $1.4 trillion deficit, up from $458 billion in 2008. That’s 10 percent of gross domestic product, a level unseen since World War II. Worse, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that we’ll be drowning in red ink for the foreseeable future, with annual deficits averaging $1 trillion during the next decade.

      While these figures are dramatic, they pale in comparison to what the federal government owes foreign and domestic investors. According to the CBO, in 2009 America’s public debt reached $7.5 trillion, or 53 percent of GDP, the highest it has been in 50 years. In 2010 the debt will cross the 60 percent threshold, a level at which many economists believe a country is putting itself in financial peril.

      And the situation is deteriorating rapidly. Figure 1 compares the CBO’s long-term public debt projections from 2010 with long-term projections calculated in 2007. Three years ago, the CBO projected that the debt held by the public would not surpass 60 percent until 2023.

      What’s more, with the impending entitlement crisis requiring more future borrowing, the national debt could grow faster than the economy. In 2020, if current trends continue, the country will owe more than $20 trillion, or 85 percent of GDP…..

      The taxes on my Army pension went up this year, and I’m definitely not one of those eeeeeeevil rich capitalist honchos that draws the ire of the “social justice” Democrats. Yours hasn’t gone up yet? Just wait.
      You cannot spend your way out of a deficit. And if you really think Obama won’t follow through with tax increases across the board, you’re going to be awfully disappointed when it happens.

      SFC MAC

  4. [Its poverty rate is astronomical and the disparity between the haves and have nots is actually growing.]

    Again, the same could be said for the U.S. China has some 2-1/2 trillion dollars in reserves while the U.S. is now over 13 trillion dollars in debt.

    Now, I’m by no means promoting their system of government or their economy. I’m just saying that your argument holds no water.

    1. Ben,

      The argument holds an ocean.

      1. Do you really believe you would have the same economic choices and freedoms in China as you do here? (Well, at least after Obama gets kicked out in 2012)

      2. In addition, China’s centralized, micromanaged government will not make it immune to a global economic collapse.

      3. The Chinese government is perpetually paranoid, and resorts to nationalism to boost its sagging legitimacy and distract the population from real crisis.


      * China is in the biggest danger of a meltdown over the next five years. Within this decade, its financial system will hit a big bump, and the response of China’s political leaders will determine whether the country recovers quickly or slips into depression. Moreover, if a real financial crisis happens in China, the economic and political implications for the rest of the world will be tremendous.

      * The Chinese financial system seems to be funding a lot of investment that will never pay off. As BusinessWeek wrote in May, “China is still burdened with a backward financial system that can’t tell a good risk from a bad one — and often doesn’t seem to care” (see BW, 5/3/04, “Headed For A Crisis?”).

      5. The worst thing of all: we are ass deep into debt with China. They own most of it.

      6. We allow way too much of Chinese imports into this country, at a staggering price. The trade imbalance with foreign countries is astronomical.

      By 1975 the foreign share of the national debt rose to 17%, where it stayed through the 1990s, when China began buying large amounts of Treasury bills. At the end of last year foreigners owned close to half of the publicly held national debt.

      Aside from all of this, America’s founders were dead set against being held hostage to indebtedness to foreign governments. Having said that, doing business with a corrupt, brutal communist regime with a useless currency (the yuan) isn’t condusive to good economics. The dollar is still the dominant currency, but it’s hanging on by a thread.
      If China collapses, the repercussions will be bad enough. If we collapse—which is quite feasable given Obama’s fiscal stupidity—there will be no recourse.

      SFC MAC

  5. The same could be said for the U.S. and capitalism. The whole world is suffering from the economic doldrums except for maybe China . So I guess that means socialism is great, since China is doing well.

    1. Ben,
      Except China? Put down your well-worn copy of Mao’s Little Red Book and read something else for a change.

      China has economic problems of its own. Its poverty rate is astronomical and the disparity between the haves and have nots is actually growing.

      ……the number of poor remains high, with China being home to the world’s second largest number of poor in any country (after India).

      ……Income inequality has increased significantly and China is no longer the low-inequality country it used to be a quarter century ago. The urban-rural income gap has grown and inequality within both rural and urban areas has increased.

      ……Disparities in other aspects of human development remain and in some cases have grown. Because of marketization of public services, incomes matter more now for access to health and education than they used to, and the burden of health and education expenditures has increased for households.,,contentMDK:22136984~menuPK:318956~pagePK:2865066~piPK:2865079~theSitePK:318950,00.html

      It’s hard to maintain a balance between a communist ideology-based centralized government, and the practice, or in China’s case, the facade of capitalism. Kinda like the turmoil created by the Obama regime. He can’t seem to reconcile his socialist agenda with free market capitalism, either.
      I’ve said this before: Doing business with a communist country will not transform it into a capitalist/democratic/freedom-nurturing society. All we’ve done is prop up the totalitarian bastards with American dollars. Their political system and oppressive human rights abuses haven’t changed much since Mao.

      Yeah, communism/socialism sure is a hoot, isn’t it?

      Gee Ben, you’re such an intellect.
      SFC MAC

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