“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.” — Cicero – 55 BC
You know you are spending too much on “stimulus” when socialist Europe says no more spending.
The Obama Administration had been pressing our European allies to add a little more pork on to their economic fires. To their credit, they told us that you can’t solve everything with taxpayer money. Maybe someone could put those words on Obama’s teleprompter.
Read more about Europe’s reaction to additional stimulus below:
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By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, March 20, 2009 4:20 PM PT
On Friday, the EU resisted pressure — from the pork-happy U.S. — to pump more cash into its recession-hit economies. It had already shoveled out a $270 billion stimulus package of its own, and came up with a $67 billion bailout fund for Eastern Europe. With all that done, the EU wanted to end it.
“You can’t think you can solve everything with taxpayers’ money. Stimulus packages are already in place and taking us through this challenging time,” said Fredrik Reinfeldt, the prime minister of, brace yourself, Sweden.
“There is no alternative to globalization as a motor for growth and employment, thus fostering prosperity worldwide,” wrote German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende in Der Spiegel on March 19, arguing against spending for its own sake.
They’re right, you know. And these comments show there are still certain things Europe can teach the U.S., though not the things the fashionably far-left chardonnay crowd in San Francisco thinks.
After more than 100 years of socialism, starting with German Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s 1883 move to install the basis for Europe’s social welfare state, which was rapidly imitated by other states and led to a heavy hand of government through the Continental economies, most of Europe has a pretty good idea what socialism is, where it leads and what its limits are.
While not keen on killing such a central part of their culture, they’re also not blind to its ill effects. These include high unemployment, lack of job mobility, failure to foster business startups, talent flight, hyperinflation and generally slow economic growth.
All of that comes from the kind of government spending that exceeds the productive capacity of a private sector to finance it. It’s the very stuff Democrats, still steeped in 1940s nostalgia, are gunning for as they spend beyond what they can imagine.
No such nostalgia is coming out of Europe. Much of the Continent of late has moved sharply toward competitiveness and getting the private sector on its feet. They’ve elected free-market leaders, and formed competitiveness commissions.
Europeans and Americans aren’t precisely alike, but that doesn’t mean we can’t listen to them on something they understand better than us: socialism. So much spending, Europe tells us, isn’t good for you. Is our government listening?