Free Markets, Free People

Fiscal austerity? Certainly not in Europe

The narrative the left likes to push is that “austerity” is the wrong thing to do, that increased government spending will see us out of these tough times.  And they like to point to Europe’s continuing downward spiral because of “austerity” as proof.

Meh.  They should consult the numbers first before pumping out yet another false meme:


Hardly a picture of “drastic” spending cuts.  Hardly a picture of “austerity.”

As Joel Pollak at Breitbart points out:

Government spending has continued to rise across much of Europe, and even those countries that have made small cuts have not reduced government spending to pre-recession levels. Some Keynesians might believe that these policies are draconian relative to the massive spending that should have happened during a recession, but that shifting the austerity goalposts.

Veronique de Rugy at National Review Online points to the graph above, and also points out that "whenever cuts took place, they were always overwhelmed by large counterproductive tax increases." Higher taxes on the "rich" have led to uniform misery in Europe–and to political extremism among disenchanted voters.That is the real failure of European policy, and the lesson most relevant to Americans as we head to the polls to choose between an incumbent who wants to raise taxes and one who wants to reform them.

Or to distill this even further, the “blue social/political model” is dying and there isn’t much the left (or anyone) can do to save it.  Reality has again defined “unsustainable” for the left in terms they are finding difficult to deal with.

What’s the first stage of coping with grief?

Oh, yeah … denial.


Twitter: @McQandO

9 Responses to Fiscal austerity? Certainly not in Europe

  • But…IF you want an instant riot…tell Euro-peons somebody is THINKING about reforming education funding, cutting back on the welfare state, etc.
    At the end of the day, wherever the blue model is tried, it runs up against plain old inexorable math.  Which does not consider the moral outrages it works on people within it.
    What will those charts look like if the deniers prevail to the point of collapse, and what will the human costs be then?

    • “What will those charts look like if the deniers prevail to the point of collapse, and what will the human costs be then?”
      Ask the gods of the copybook headings.

  • Looks to me like these spending graphs begin to level off between 2008 and 2009–when the population began to realize the extent of the problem and governments began to take action.  That represents austerity.

    • So in dumbass land, austerity is the same as holding your spending level? You big old one-percenter, you!

    • IF you could read a trend line, you’d see that any decrease in spending is nominal…at best.
      What is MORE important is the spending to GDP ratio.  If you look at that, there has likely been a NET INCREASE relative to GDP.
      But, hey, that gets all sciency an’ stuff…

    • I like the way you think. My weight having leveled off at somewhat over an eighth of a ton, I can now consider myself to be wasting away. Close to malnutrition. A veritable fashion model, a twiggy. A Stan Laurel to my former Oliver Hardy. I am sure my staff of medical professionals will agree with you, also.

    • “That represents austerity.”
      That’s the problem Chuck, to you that represents austerity.  And it ain’t.

  • Austerity?  I thought you said Hilarity!  oh!  my mistake.