Europe Is Living in Our Future, and We Don’t Want to Go There

| October 31 2011
David Leeper

If you’re an American older than 30, you may remember:

  • the hoopla over the formation of the European Union (EU), with some gleefully calling it “The United States of Europe“,
  • the predictions that America would soon have  to “move over” as the EU became the dominant economic power in the world, and
  • the herd of financial advisers recommending that American investors purchase EU stocks and funds or get left behind.

So where does the vaunted EU stand today?

The EU is tottering on the brink of financial collapse.  It has fallen victim to (1) the statist/collectivist/socialist infection that has sickened Europe for well over 100 years, and (2) the rampant entitlement mentality that European politicians have cultivated for over 60 years as they sought votes and power.

Regarding that entitlement mentality, you may have heard of:

In fact, entitlements have become so thoroughly embedded in EU cultures that they are now enshrined in the EU Constitution as human rights (something the Great American Left is working to emulate in our own country).

Predictably, over-taxed and over-regulated, the EU economies could not long generate the surplus wealth needed to pay for all their promised amenities.  With two full generations of citizens trained from birth to expect their state-granted “human rights”, it’s small wonder that any attempted cut-backs have been met with strikes, demonstrations, boycotts, and protests, including violent ones.

Now the jig is up.  It’s time to face the music.  Herman Van Rompuy himself, the President of the European Council, has put it crisply and clearly:

We cannot finance our social model.

Well,  if it’s any comfort, Mr. Rompuy, we in America can’t finance ours either.   Just our entitlement programs and debt service already consume all our tax revenue, and we’re desperately borrowing and printing over $4.7 billion per day to pay for the overrun as well as everything else.  And this is no temporary bump in the road.  With over 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, the deterioration is accelerating, seemingly without limit.

Why do so few Americans understand the true depth of this predicament?

Is it because the President and his spokespeople deliberately obscure the problem in a fog of class-envy-based lies that they think will serve them well in the next election?  How many times have we heard that “if the wealthy would just pay a little more”, we could get past our budget crisis?  It’s a self-serving canard, but millions of Americans still walk around believing it and repeating it.

Even if we were to cancel the demonized Bush-Obama tax cuts for all Americans (not just the wealthy), we’d only pay for about 28 minutesworth of our current level of borrowing per day.  What do we do about the other 23 hours and 32 minutes?  (For fact-based presentation, see the Rep. David Schweikert video at this link, especially at time marker 07:36).

As Bill Whittle has shown, even if we were to “eat the rich“, taking all their wealth, we could only cover our deficits for about one year.   And then what?

A few brave souls in Congress have come to understand our economic crisis in real terms with real numbers.  They’ve been trying to reach and teach the rest of Congress and all of America.  We need to help them by repeating their message to our fellow Americans just as loudly and as often as we can.  

But there’s more than that to do … much more.

It is the incumbent members of Congress who got our country into this mess.  It happened on their watch when they were supposed to be looking out for us and our children.  And the longer a Representative or Senator has been in office, the more culpable he (or she) is.

Therefore …

Whether Democrat or Republican, every incumbent should be held accountable and compelled by his constituents to answer these questions:

Where were you when these impossibly expensive programs were designed and approved?
Did you warn us?  Did you tell us what the debt would be to our children and grandchildren
Did you vote against the programs?  Have you worked to expose them? 
What are you doing now to reform them?

If an incumbent cannot answer acceptably to his constituents, it is sufficient cause for him to announce he will not run again for office, go home at the end of his term, and not come back.  His district or state can then deal with finding a replacement candidate who will take his responsibility to his constituents seriously.  We especially need full replacement of the elitist lifetime legislative class representatives and senators who have betrayed us through negligence, lethargy, incompetence, or malfeasance.  We do not work for them.  They work for us.  Our message to them should be simple:  You’re fired!

What will happen if these politicians, especially Washington’s lifetime legislators, are not replaced? 

Take a good long look at Europe today.  As Member-of-European-Parliament Daniel Hannan has put it in his book The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America,

Europe is living in our future

We do not want to go there, and it’s up to us, the American citizenry, to stop it from happening.

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