Tag Archives: stimulus

Sorry Newsweek, We Are Not All Socialists

we-are-all-socialists-largeNewsweek has spoken.

The New Deal, FDR and bloated government are all the rage, as liberals, err, progressives, Kumbaya with their socialist idols in Europe. Reagan’s model for economic growth has led to economic failure, and last November, Americans voted for big government, for change. Completely ignored, however, is the ironic position staked out by the Italian and French President who look to cure the crisis by spurring growth.

They understand it, because they’ve lived it. Tax hikes and expansive government will only solve one problem: how to shrink the GDP. Last week, in the face of a couple million screaming communists, err, socialists, President Sarkozy stood strong.

This from Bloomberg:

French President Nicholas Sarkozy defied calls for more aid to consumers, saying his 26 billion- euro ($33 billion) plan to spur investment will cushion a deepening economic slump and increase productivity.

Sarkozy, who last week faced the biggest protests against his policies since his 2007 election, told a nationwide television audience late yesterday that he would cut a business tax by 8 billion euros next year, while he stuck to proposals to trim civil-service jobs and curb spending on hospitals.

Sarkozy’s television appearance last night, where he took questions from four journalists, marked his response to Jan. 29 demonstrations. The police said 1.1 million people protested, while Confederation Generale du Travail, the second-biggest French labor union, put the total at 2.5 million.

“I must listen to protesters,” Sarkozy said. “I also have to listen to all those who didn’t demonstrate, those who are working and who are suffering as well.”

A survey before the protests showed 55 percent wanted Sarkozy to press ahead with reforms, according to TNS Sofres, a Paris-based pollster that asked the question on Jan. 27-28.

In Italy, Berlusconi’s government is focused on providing incentives to consumers who buy anything from cars to furniture.

I’m not familiar with global bond markets, credit default swaps and other crucial factors in the current crisis. What I am familiar with is socialism, and despite the proclamation in this week’s Newsweek, a socialist, I am not. Liberals like Obama remain fixated on the Europolitics of the past, the Veltronis of the old continent. President Obama’s recent note to Veltroni, a ‘reformed’ communist opponent of Berlusconi, promised a continued friendship with the United States. One small problem. Veltroni isn’t the Italian Prime Minister. Conservative Berlusconi is, and he’s waiting to receive his first note…

Be a Patriot and Spend your Stimulus

My Italian father-in-law and I used to argue over cultural and political differences between Italy and the U.S. He would issue a charge, I would deny it, and a debate would inevitably ensue. In one of our early debates, he warned me: “your economy (the U.S. economy) will collapse once its debtors begin calling in their chips.” We overuse credit cards, spend more than we can afford and consider ‘budget’ a dirty word, he would always say.

If this credit crisis has taught me anything, it has showed me that his assessment was pretty accurate. The saddest part isn’t his vindication or that I have to admit, once again, he was right… It’s that we haven’t learned. Just this weekend, while watching an Italian soccer match, an advertisement flashed across the bottom of the screen:

Your country needs you. Help the economy and spend your government stimulus. Check out cool gear at Foxsoccershop.com

Appealing to the patriotism of Americans by encouraging them to spend their government checks is appalling. Most of the blame, however, belongs to the President and politicians who, by their actions, have continued to promote our irresponsibility by implying that the best action we can take, to recover from this credit crisis, is to spend more. Isn’t that what brought us recession and foreclosures? Shouldn’t they be promoting saving, conservation and paying off our debts? If they need to give a economy a boost, why not cut the corporate tax rate? How about addressing the affordability of healthcare, the ballooning price of oil as it relates to a pathetically weak dollar and the out-of-control federal spending that has created the dollar crisis?

Why do we, as Americans, need to act irresponsibly to cure what Washington has created? Me, I’ll be banking my stimulus check to start a trend, a trend I hope other Americans continue. Spend only what you can afford and save for that rainy day you know is coming.