Posted by: Ann Corcoran | January 4, 2013

Face it! We are already Europe

How many times lately have you heard someone say, “We are becoming like Europe (meaning broke)!”  Or, “we will soon be Greece.”*    Writer Mona Charen says we are already there, but can’t admit it.

From Townhall (hat tip: Paul):

Following the fiscal cliff melodrama, Senator Richard Shelby appeared on television to declare that we are becoming European. “We’re always wanting to spend and promise and spend and borrow but not cut. We’ve got to get real about this. We’re headed down the road that Europe’s already on.”

There’s no “heading” about it. We’re there. Prof. John J. DiIulio, writing in “National Affairs”, outlined the true size of American government. When state and local government expenditures are added to federal outlays, government spending as a share of GDP easily competes with European nations. In fact, per-capita government spending in the U.S. is higher than in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and our debt to GDP ratio is higher than most European states.

The Obama administration has set records for deficit spending in peacetime, but there is no question that the growth of government at all levels has been a decades-long process. In 1960, total government spending (local, state and federal) amounted to 27 percent of GDP. In 2010, it was about 42 percent. State spending has been almost as irrepressible as federal, leaving only nine states that can now boast AAA credit ratings. Many states are facing crises over unfunded pension liabilities that have the capacity to engender strikes and social unrest in the not too distant future.

We lie to ourselves about the size of government spending and hide the fact that we spend through NON-PROFIT organizations that couldn’t survive without the constant infusion of taxpayer dollars—LIKE CATHOLIC CHARITIES for example!

The difference between Americans and Europeans is that we aren’t honest about our appetite for big government. We hide it through a variety of proxies, private contractors, and public/private partnerships.

[….]

Most non-profits receive few government subsidies. But the largest ones with the biggest budgets are heavily government-dependent. One-third of all non-profit dollars come from government. Catholic Charities USA, for example, a marquee “private-sector” charity, received two-thirds of its funding in 2009 from Uncle Sam.

What galls me so much about the taxpayer cash flowing to groups like Catholic Charities (a supposed non-profit AND a government contractor) is that they use that money to import more immigrants (refugee resettlement) and also lobby on issues as diverse as amnesty, global warming and gay marriage.  Then they have the audacity to scream about their religious rights when it comes to the government telling them what to do.  You take Caesar’s money and you deserve to be under Caesar’s thumb!

We are Socialists now!

Americans prefer small government to big government — in the abstract. But 60 million receive Medicaid benefits, 54 million collect Social Security, 48 million participate with Medicare, 45 million receive Food Stamps, 7 million are in prison, jail, or on parole/probation, more than a million have de facto government jobs working for defense contractors, nearly a million children participate in Head Start and about 40 percent of K-12 students receive free or reduced price meals. There’s some overlap in those categories, but it still adds up.

[….]

We are, in short, a socialist-style society just like Europe.

Related?  Here is a scary story I came across the other day.  Germany, the country that imported tens of thousands of Turkish Muslim workers in a ridiculous scheme to bring young workers into Germany to pay into their social welfare programs, are now shipping their elderly Germans out to Eastern European countries and Asia where it’s cheaper to house the elderly pensioners in need of nursing home care.

* On Greece, readers here at PTPR might want to see that Greece is SERIOUSLY closing its borders to try to stem the tide of economic migrants many believe are helping sink that country.


Responses

  1. Anne, Look on the bright side. Socialism EVERYWHERE has failed in the end – brought great misery and poverty. Even Soviet Union finally broke up due to total failure of socialism. True, human nature is stubborn and perverse – evidence wars and famine. Nothing new about greed and evil. In the end, the truth will out, and it will have its way over the lies.

    Argentina is the best example of a modern prosperous state with intelligent (?) people who decided to turn their lives over to government – and the printing of money made beggars and paupers of the vast majority. Today, “workers” are begging someone, anyone to “give us a job” — and no one listens. There is no work, because the society has essentially criminalized honest free market enterprise. Now, the only people left are the “workers” begging government to come through on their promises. At some point, I think even these “workers” will eventually wake up to their own role in the evil around them. I would tell them: (If there are no jobs, then start a business yourself and create some!”) One thing for sure, so far, the “workers” arn’t looking to anything that “they” did to cause the misery. But they are miserable with a wealth of natural resources all around them. Nothing will change unless they wake up to their own cause in the matter.

    The bright side (remember) is that the message of freedom and limited constitutional government is the solution — and that will not change, no matter how far off the path any people wander. We just need to keep that message before people — strong and steady. Don’t despair. Children (and open-minded adults) have a great capacity to hear the truth — let’s just focus on delivering that message. Gandhi battled for many years before India finally got it’s freedom from UK. Of course, “freedom” is a battle that has to continue. Think about the Philippines — they have been fighting corruption in government, and the people have managed to achieve some success with their efforts, and the economy is improving. Iceland is another example of a failed state, that has turned around their economy when they “woke up” from the joy ride of free money. Even the US people can wake up from the lies of socialism.

    • Lee, I wish I had your optimism. But, only look at the kids coming out of college, except for a few exceptions, they are all into the political correctness garbage and frankly we aren’t it! Then we won’t even go into the demographic changes that are inevitable. Like Europe we will be out-populated, and why can’t more people see what is happening in Europe? I’m just babbling, gotta go, just wish I had your optimism….

      • Even at the Univ. of Maryland, there are vibrant groups of conservatives. Not every young person has bowed the knee to Satan.

        I saw Karate Kid last night. I think you need a dose of MIyagi (my sin se). He might say to you “you, too much TV” You look at circumstances too much. The world changes not because of the opinion of the ‘masses’ but by the committed actions of those rare few who follow the path of truth. As Paul Newman says in the “Verdict” – If we wish to see justice in the world, we just need to have faith in ourselves and act – because I believe we all have justice in our hearts.”

        I refuse to believe in evil; because only good and perfect are real. You can look back through history for great examples of those who stood for truth. In the short-term, there is suffering, and we all make mistakes, but in the end, only the truth remains. Because in the end, that’s all there is. Evil is just a state of self-delusion. It is only real if you believe it is. Call it the “koolaid” effect.

        I’m not saying to sit around and do nothing – but don’t focus so much on the masses of evil around you. Again, Miyagi wisdom: “Things not always as seem” Maybe you need a dose of the “Karate Kid” Somehow, just snap out of it!

  2. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to “righting” our debt dilemma is that all of the millions you outlined in this post that are receiving some benefit from government (Federal and State) include over half the population. When austerity time comes around – and it eventually will – no one wants their entitlement or benefit cut and the next step is massive protests.

    • When the music stops, let’s hope that I can find a chair, because someone will be “out” in this game of musical chairs. It’s the greed factor, to get “mine” to hell with everyone else. This game is built on the illusion of limitation and the separation of each other into classes and personalities. In fact, what benefits all benefits each person in the end. that’s the truth we need to message out to people.

      Yes. the selfish “me first” attitude is a common human flaw. It’s the appeal of benefit without cost, very appealing from a limited perspective. Youth entitlement leads to adult entitlement, but it’s a pattern built on lies. The fundamental lie is that we are greedy and selfish by nature. In fact, we are generous and giving by nature — our true nature. It’s only through the distorted influences of society that we lose touch with our inherent, natural goodness and harmony with others.

      So, we have to speak truth louder than the voices of lies — and right now, our numbers are few. So, let’s start building up our numbers. When you stand for the truth, you win in the end — there is a mental warfare to pass through to get to to this “end” — The laws of economics work like gravity until everyone finally realizes the party’s over.

  3. Conservatives need to remember, “It’s the Culture, Stupid!”

    In the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, Republicans did quite well electorally. Simultaneously, however, our society became coarser, more permissive, less traditional, and more socially liberal. And while politicians won elections, our young people turned to Hollywood for guidance.

    http://theweek.com/bullpen/column/238329/the-culture-war-is-over-and-conservatives-lost

  4. I agree. Once again the Republican Party is spending money that doesn’t exist. Speaker Boehner wants to spend $60 Billion for Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey. More socialism that Gov. Christie wants. Then there is Republican President George W. Bush that spent billions on two wars without paying for them. Just increase the debt please. This Socialism all began with President Reagan when the debt quadrupled. Clearly the Republican Party is the cause of Socialism in America.


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