Friday, June 11, 2010

America: Greece on Steroids

Socrates, Plato, the Parthenon-- all examples of what has made Greece a historical paragon of philosophy, art, and culture. Who wouldn't want to emulate their legacy, right? Not so fast. Let's fast forward about oh, say 2 and a half millennia later..

ablaze: A riot policeman falls after being hit with Molotov cocktail 
near the Greek parliament in Athens as demonstrations turned violent 
                                Greek riot officer engulfed in flames. A metaphor for the American Obama economy.

No matter what is said in your high school history textbook Greece is not country to copy. Today their economy and society have been destroyed. Years of lunatic spending, cheap lending and failure to implement common sense financial reforms (sound familiar?) left Greece naked and flailing when the worldwide economic downturn hit. In February, the Greek government, on the verge of bankruptcy, announced  "austerity measures" to combat its sky-high debt. Its people, broke and angry, didn't take kindly to its government taking away their rights when it was rampant government corruption and irresponsibility (ring a bell?) that flushed their economy down the drain in the first place. Surprise, surprise, three months later, completely bankrupted, Greece erupted into a conflagration of chaos and murder in the streets. About 100,000 pissed off pythagoreans struck nationwide, and they weren't throwing the discus, or hurling olives-- these folks were armed to the teeth, launching molotov cocktails at banks, riot officers, and any target they could see through the eye-holes in their gas masks.

                                   Onslaught: Missiles litter the street as crowds of rioters, many of them masked, surge up a hill to confront police in the centre of Athens yesterday. At least 18 people were hurt
                                  Goodbye Aristotle. Hello anarchy.

How the hell did this happen? It was the Double D: Deficit and Debt. And, alarmingly, America is hurtling down the same path!! Today the Foundry broke it down:
In April 2010, Greece’s FY 2009 deficit was estimated at 13.6% of the GDP.  The United States FY 2009 deficit reached a record high of $1.4 trillion, or 9.9% of the GDP.  If we continue to follow the President’s proposed budget, over the next ten years our average deficit will surpass the number that brought Greece to its knees.
Then there is the lingering issue of the debt.  Greece’s debt reached 115% of the GDP and could reach 150% of the GDP before too long.  Interestingly enough, the CBO reports that the US debt will jump dramatically from 53% to 63% between FY 2009 and FY 2010. And, just yesterday the Treasury Department estimated that by 2015 the ratio of US debt to GDP would rise 102% to nearly $20 trillion.
I don't know about you, but if you're like me and 79% of other Americans polled, this is an absolute economic Armageddon of horrific proportions. Why then are we American taxpayers, against our will funding yet another $6,800,000,000 dollar bailout of Greece through the IMF? The only thing Americans should consider paying that much money for is to build a time machine to bring James Madison back to bitch slap Big Government back into its rightful place!

Our out of control spending has to stop now. This Administration's ridiculous Keynesian reductionist policy that assumes every dollar it spends will stimulate the economy is bullshit, and we know it. Do we want to get to the point that there are government imposed, socialist policies, shackling Americans and small businesses? Do we want murderous, riotous mobs in our boulevards? No. It's simply time to tighten the purse strings, reign in teenage-with-a-credit-card government spending, stop inflating entitlement programs, stuffing the pork barrel, and passing on a  fourteen figure debt to our kids.


Why don't we try tattooing this solution offered by the economists at on Obama's forehead:

*Freeze government hiring for the next 3 years.
*Eliminate bonuses and raises for the foreseeable future.
*Institute layoffs and across the board wage cuts. Why should government employees enjoy “privileged status” that no employee in the private sector enjoys?
*Change pensions from ‘defined benefit’ to ‘defined contribution’ pension plans, meaning retirees receive only what has been built up in their 401K type retirement accounts.
*Raise the retirement age. In Greece it is going from age 53 to 67. Gold-plated pension plans are the single biggest factor that bankrupted Greece. The same problem bankrupted U.S. automakers GM and Chrysler.
*Require government employees to pay more of their healthcare (through co-pays and deductibles).
*Change the way pensions are calculated by eliminating overtime and raises in the last years of employment to “game the system”. 

Sounds pretty damn reasonable to me. Especially since we are Greece on steroids.
Its times like these that we need to heed the wise words of our Founders. James Madison said:
Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
Arm yourself. Hit the streets and take the polls. Take back your money. Take back America.

Stand Tall Patriots,


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