Monday, March 12, 2012

Greece: Lesson for the U.S.?

In needing the massive $172 billion dollar bailout package recently hammered out in Brussels, Greece has surrendered a great deal of its sovereignty in the name of debt relief. Given the toxic culture of name calling and partisanship that currently permeates our federal government, I’m very much afraid that the United States will one day face a similar tragic parallel.
While leaders throughout Europe trumpet the deal as a meaningful step forward in what will surely be a continued process of austerity measures and belt tightening that is quite likely to drive Greeks already incensed by previous measures back into the streets to protest.
Greece has accepted a permanent monitoring presence by the European Commission in Athens, a segregated Escrow account where bailout funds must be used to pay back debt before it can be used for government spending and requirements that government workforces be cut, pension payments reduced, taxes be raised, and the minimum wage being cut.
Ignoring the obvious contradictions between creating still more unemployment and wage cuts while increasing taxes, I’m very much afraid Greece will continue to be one of Europe’s sick men for a long time to come.
 Greece should serve as grim case study for any government on what happens when said government embarks on a runaway train of spending. When the money train stops, its’ generally a crash landing.
Some will claim that the United States isn’t Greece.This is true, but we could be Greece and we will be Greece, if we continue to have politicians that can’t get out of their ideological comas and work together to bring meaningful debt relief.
In this country, we are currently having a debate on how much tax the wealthy should pay verses the middle class and the poor and entitlement spending.
 I come with a dire warning inspired by Greece, if our so called “leaders” can’t get it together, who pays what isn’t going to be the issue anymore. The new question will be “How much will we all suffer”?

1 comment:

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