Tag Archives: Austerity

Republican Idol: Europe

Relief map of Europe and surrounding regions

Relief map of Europe and surrounding regions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t let them kid you, Republican’s think that Europe is spot on when it comes to government spending in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Various European nations have responded to the rising debt caused by the crisis by implementing the sort of austerity measures that the Tea Party thinks will save America.

Last week tens of thousands of Spaniards marched in the street over their countries’ latest round of austerity measures. They aren’t thrilled with 26% unemployment. Britain’s David Cameron has implemented an austerity program there. It hasn’t done much to reduce their debt, but it did manage to inspire Moody’s to downgrade Britain’s debt–making it more expensive for them to service their debt.

Ever since the Tea Party took over the GOP, facts and reality haven’t seemed to matter much to their rhetoric or their policies. They have been pining to put the U.S. government on an austerity plan, just like Europe. They may not be happy that one of the first fruits of their labor has been the release of detained immigrants, but that didn’t stop them from deciding to push to make these upcoming cuts permanent for an entire year.

The reality is that this sequester and other austerity measures don’t make any sense while recovering from one of the worst economic downturns in our history. The CBO estimates that our gross domestic product will grow by 1.4 percent this year, rather than the 2.0 growth we’d see without the sequester cuts. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimates that we will lose 1 million jobs in 2013 and 2014 because of the sequester. A former Republican from the Bipartisan Policy Center says its possible that the sequester won’t ¬†even achieve any savings in government outlays.

The reality is that our present course has delivered slow but steady growth. Smart money knows things are going pretty well. That’s why the stock market is flirting with its all-time high. We will eventually reduce our deficit through economic growth, just as we did in the 1990’s, unless the Republicans insist on remaking the U.S. in the image of Europe.