Monday, June 20, 2011

The Plight of Papandreou

Why is Papandreou, Greece's prime minister, struggling to convince the Greek public to cut spending and raise taxes? At the moment, Greece is spending 25 percent more than their tax revenues, which means their national debt is continuing it's upward spiral. There has been no progress since the last year's bailout. No, indeed. Things have gotten much, much worse for Greece's finances, not better.

The problem for George Papandreou is the political rhetoric of the past half century. Politicians like Papandreou and his economist (sic) father Andreas Papandreou have, for several generations, preached to the Greek population that they could have it all -- free health care, free education, free everything, plus early retirement with a fat pension. Everything is free in the wonderful Papandreou state. Nothing need be paid for. That's what Papandreou and his father have been telling Greeks for the past fifty years.

Guess what? They lied. Providing all manner of free and inexpensive stuff to folks doesn't work unless there is someone out there who is willing to fund all of this. The fact is, in the long run, there is no one willing to fund the Greeks in the style to which the Papandreous wished them to become accustomed. The Papandreous were frauds and now the Greeks and other Europeans are angry, confused and rioting. Who wouldn't be angry and confused?

Papandreou deserves his current fate. He helped to create the problem and cheerlead the fraud that led to the current problems in Europe. Why Obama is choosing to follow this path is a great mystery.

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