The defeat of French President
Europeans are using democratic elections and demonstrations to send a message: Austerity is spreading unacceptable human misery.
For months, conservative pundits have criticized President Obama for not forcing more deficit reduction. House
Republicans boast that their
But the real lesson of Greece, Spain,
The U.S. enjoys better growth than Europe because we've done more to stimulate our economy,
and have been slower to turn to deficit reduction. But states and localities forced to balance budgets because of
state constitutional requirements are laying off teachers and police and firefighters. Now the federal budget is being
cut, adding to the drag on the economy. And if, no matter who wins this fall, the administration and
This economy is barely out of the operating room and just beginning to recover. Large companies are sitting on
trillions of profits looking for customers. Small businesses won't hire until they see consumers coming in the door.
We still have mass unemployment, falling wages and more families losing their homes. Yet
A conference committee of the
This makes no sense.
In fact, we should be doing much more to rebuild America. Interest rates are at near record lows. The construction
industry is idle. There will never be a better opportunity to borrow the money needed to rebuild an infrastructure
that is outmoded and in dangerous disrepair. Instead,
Maybe we should pay the legislators to junket in Europe. Let them see the riots, visit with defeated politicians, talk to embarrassed economists now calling for a change in course. The House Republican caucus doesn't seem to worry about the growing poverty in our cities, or wonder whether those cities will blow up this summer. But perhaps they might reconsider if they learn from the Europeans that enforcing brutal measures on citizens to pay for the mess caused by banks doesn't just increase poverty and unemployment, it shortens political careers.
French Elections Lesson
Socialist Francois Hollande defeated conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy to become France's next president. CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reports
- Greeks Pushed to the Edge by Austerity Measures
- Bailout of Greek Banks Good, But Not Enough
- Waiting for a European Santa Claus
- Culture Still Matters
- Greece's Balkan Inheritance is Heavy
- Is Greece European?
- Let Sleeping Germans Lie
- Europe's Dilemma: Immigration and the Arab Spring
- France's Geopolitical Strategy
- Elections Could Shift European Union Away from Austerity, But Should They?
- Why France Elected a Socialist President
- French Elections Lesson
- Putin's Evolving Strategy in Europe
- Moscow's Vision for the Backyard
- Russia's relations with Central and Eastern Europe
- Britain's Geopolitical Strategy
- Under Putin, Russian Relations with United States Turn Icy Again
- Albania Still Working to Dispose of Stockpiled Ammunition
- Cyprus Gas Drilling Could be Geopolitical Accident Waiting to Happen
- Europe After the Crisis: How to Sustain a Common Currency
- Russia's Geopolitical Strategy
- Kosovo Counting on Strong Support From Turkey
- Turkey's Geopolitical Strategy
- Turkey: Twitter Cuts Two Ways
- Turkish TPAO Starts Drilling in Northern Cyprus
- Greek Voters Punish Ruling Parties for Austerity
- In Greek Elections, A Campaign of Fear Prevails
- Sarkozy's Gaddafi Connection Helps Make His Defeat a Fait Accompli
- Hollande Beats Sarkozy, Claims French Presidency
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