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  • Morning Bell: Socialism Rises Again

    Last weekend, the people of France took a sharp turn to the left, and the rest of Europe may be on the brink of rebuking its recent tack toward fiscal responsibility. With Sunday’s election of French Socialist leader Francois Hollande, France has leapt backward toward the policies that have helped sink the continent in a sovereign debt crisis. Disturbingly, the big government platform Hollande campaigned on is all too familiar to the American people, and if the United States is not careful, it could suffer the same fate as its European allies.

    Hollande sailed to victory by appealing to an electorate dissatisfied with having to face necessary cutbacks, proclaiming that he is “proud to have been capable of giving people hope again.” That brand of hope called for a change from President Nicolas Sarkozy’s relatively conservative policies — in his first term, Sarkozy worked to reduce the number of public sector employees, eliminate the 35-hour work week, reform the university system and cut taxes.

    Hollande, by contrast, promised to raise taxes on big corporations and wealthy individuals, implement a top rate tax of 75 percent, increase public spending by 20 billion euros, raise the minimum wage, hire 60,000 more teachers, and lower the retirement age from 62 to 60 for some workers. He says he is “president of the youth of France” and believes that government stimulus, not cutting spending, is the right way to achieve economic growth.

    If you’ve been a student of President Obama’s presidency, much of this should sound familiar. President Obama came into office on a promise of hope and change, appealed to young Americans and promised renewed prosperity. His solution was more government spending to the tune of a near-trillion-dollar stimulus, a government-run health care plan, a bailout of government unions, and a call for higher taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations.

    The difference between the United States and France is that the latter is much further down the path of a social welfare state. Hollande’s proposals are not a new direction, they’re merely a return to form. France is notoriously emblematic of the European way of life. As Daniel Hannan, a member of the European Parliament, describes in Why America Must Not Follow Europe, “Long vacations, paternity leave, a higher minimum wage, a short working week: What’s not to like? The trouble is that eventually the money runs out.”

    In France, the money has indeed run out. The country’s public debt now stands at more than 80 percent of GDP, government spending is at 55 percent of GDP, the tax burden is equivalent to 42 percent of total domestic income, and it hasn’t balanced its budget since 1974.

    The United States, unfortunately, is headed in much the same direction. As Heritage’s Federal Budget in Pictures shows, U.S. debt stood at 67 percent of GDP in 2011, but unless the United States controls its spending, its debt will surpass that of France, Italy and even Greece, hitting 187 percent of GDP by 2035. Spending on Medicare, Medicaid, the Obamacare subsidies, and Social Security will devour all revenues by 2045, and taxes are soaring past their highest levels ever. And as for the budget, the U.S. Senate hasn’t passed one in three years — let alone brought it to balance.

    The world has seen what lies at the end of this road to perdition. Though France is a prime example of a country that is spending itself into crisis, Greece has already gone beyond that tipping point. The country’s debt has exploded, 21.8 percent of its people are unemployed, and among the youth, more are out of work than have jobs. In the face of belt-tightening measures that came as a condition of an EU/IMF bailout — which include public sector pay cuts and pension reductions — the country turned to open political revolt with violent riots in the streets. In elections this week, Greek voters rejected the political parties that support fiscal responsibility and instead turned toward the Radical Left.

    If there is any bright spot in Europe’s far left turn, it came Friday in the re-election of Boris Johnson, the Conservative mayor of London. Johnson campaigned for tax cuts and eliminating public sector waste in the hopes of spurring job growth. But alas, France’s return to the deeply entrenched socialist policies could signal an end to the fiscally responsible measures that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has championed, leading to economic disaster.

    Though Europe is an ocean away, the policies that are sinking the continent could have the same impact in the United States if replicated here. Endless spending has dire consequences, and if America is not careful, it could follow Europe’s path to economic ruin.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    47 Responses to Morning Bell: Socialism Rises Again

    1. ghughbodell says:

      The last time the globe faced the depth and extent of economic chaos and personal depression (both economic and emotional) of the dimension now shaping up, it resulted in aggression from the Pacific to the North Atlantic and we found ourselves (humanity in its entirety) in a global war (WW II) that resulted in 75 million deaths.

      …on the bright side, it did bring the world out of the economic depression!

      • sibylle heidrich says:

        thank you for your article socialism rising. what we have now in washington is worse than hitler. i,m a nazi germany surviver and it makes me cry t5o see our country goig the same way germany did in the 30.. all our president wants is to become amerikas godless dictator. amerika christians wake up repent stop abortion now americas holocost make in god we trust areality again sibylle heidrich

    2. Turner says:

      This is GREAT news for the US!??? Maybe all the French Corporations and wealthy will move here. Or, then will the US be pressured to bailout France when these policies bankrupt France?!!! This really puts pressure on all the rest of the EU leadership to not reform from the easy life paid for by the state, but to double down. I bet Germany is giggling over the prospects of paying for these prodigals lifestyle. Oh, third option, did he say these things just to get elected, (call me a "Jaded-American")?

      • Not to sound lieke a jerk, but do we really want more socialists/Marxists in our country? The ONLY reason for them to move here would be to avoid the higher taxes, not the governmental ideology. Personally, I would prefer they stay where they are.

      • O2BMe says:

        I think we have already been doing foreign bailout through some international fund of some sort we obligated ourselves to. The way we are going the government is going to tax everyone to oblivion and print more money (causing inflation) and eventually bankrupt the USA and the money in the whole western world will be worthless. All because people want the government to take care of them from birth to death.

    3. Jim Buzzell says:

      The differences between France and the United States of America are many, but most importantly France is a Democracy where the majority rule for President; the United States, on the other hand is a Constitutional Republic of We the Prople that rule through our Electoral College for President. The question is can we keep our Constitutional Republic for being transformed into a Democracy, or worse, it is up to We the People to correct the path to Socialism we are currently on. Vote!

    4. Jhugh Nichols says:

      Sounds like he took lessons from Obama. He is following Obama's footsteps to full blown socialism and economic disaster. Jhugh

    5. ruth says:

      France is such a joke!! Is the money coming from the sky? It will be fun watching this country spiral down.

    6. toledofan says:

      So at what point in time does common sense or practical knowledge come into play? This same tax the rich, spend like a drunken sailor, expand the government and everyone gets something for free, when does the money run out or is it just everyone spends until there is no more. Over and over history shows us this doesn't work yet we continue down the same path. I guees if I lived in France and had lots of money, I 'd be traveling somewhere else to live. It's like we've become brain dead and are like a bunch of zombies walking around looking for whatever we can get for free.

    7. prayersjourney says:

      We've tried everything else, if we do not pray to "OUR" Father if He can only help One, and that one is you, when should we start? If not now, then when? http://prayersjourney.wordpress.com

    8. Curt Krehbiel says:

      Socialism contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction. As the productive segment of the economy is taxed more and more to support the non-productive segment, the productive segment loses the incentive to continue to innovate and produce. When this occurs the government continues to raise taxes until there is no longer a base on which to tax and the system fails. Capitalism is the only economic system capable of providing incentive and innovation sufficient to create the wealth needed to employ a working class which, together with its employers, establish a taxable base broad enough to fund a sufficient government and still provide a standard of living with freedom and liberty as our founding fathers envisioned over 200 years ago.

      • ghughbodell says:

        Mr. Krehbiel, Such a simple eloquent lesson. Now how do we get it to and understood by the 50% plus in the US that refuse to learn from…or even know about, history?

      • Dara says:

        Your analysis is simple and to the point. I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to copy and paste this everywhere I can… we need to make people understand Obama's Folly and what it would me to America.

    9. Lloyd Scallan says:

      People of the country refuse to or are afraid to accept the fact that what is happening in France is happening in this country now. Ask the question, "why do we not have the true facts of Obama past"? The answer is simple. Obama was invented by world powers to do just what he is doing today. Until all Americans can accept this fact, we will be France, without recourse, to bring America back to the same
      nation we all grew up in.

    10. Edward says:

      Utopia-Dreams of my Father?

    11. Neil Schmidt says:

      Migod, can't the French people do anything right? We had to bail them out of WWI, WWII, now may be faced with mopping up again after their latest voting fiasco. Sorry, French folks: you chose your own sad fate by expecting Socialism to solve all your problems. Don't expect the U.S. taxpayer to solve those problems for you. Even though some of our politicians disagree, thinking they know more than we do, we taxpayers don't like to run our country the way you evidently do. Frankly, I am appalled.

    12. Mike Doyle says:

      My main purpose of this note is to make available a link to the Canada Free Press that contains an article that is very alarming. I have no way of knowing whether or not it is true, however, when putting all of the pieces together of both what Obama has said and what he has done, the contents of the video seems to fit right in. If this is true and things begin to happen according to what this article talks about, then there is only one word I can come up with that fits the situation and that is treason.

      Please keep in mind that I have no way to determine if what is said here is true. I have seen other information in the Canada Free Press that turned out to be true, so it isn't just an anti-Obama rag. The link is: http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/

    13. Oscar Brown says:

      Two items: one, I firmly believe that come November, we are going to start down the road to recovery by changing administrations;
      two, concerning Europe, I can't help but wonder if Germany will not, in the end, accomplish what it could not do in two wars last century, by economic means. Either German soundness of policy will save the continent, or it will disolve into something we do not want to imagine.

      Europe is a cautionary tale for us. If you allow yourself to be lured by soft tyranny for too long, you will conclude that life without it is not possible. Reality is going to leave the mother of all headaches.

    14. redstorm_ says:

      It is unbelievable to me to see people just hand over their freedoms and opportunity and give a select few all the power over their lives…..WHY do the people in France believe some elected official can better run their lives than they can on their own???? The US is definitely headed in this direction no thanks to our radical President and this do-nothing, spend-thrift Congress. They have broken laws and sworn promises and should be fired immediately, if not, put in prison. Our government has failed us far too often and is continuing to break promises and laws and seem to be doing so with impunity…..why are we allowing this to happen?????

    15. Bobbie says:

      the world is being taken over by the weakest of mankind…

    16. OCLOregon says:

      Our own greatest enemy is ourselves. I pray the conservatives will wake up and begin to recapture America before we go past the tipping point. Make no mistake this election is the tipping point.

    17. Damian Hockney says:

      Alas, Boris Johnson's election as Mayor of London is not quite the bright spot you might thing, and will make no difference to the ever increasing spending at City Hall. He won that election not on the basis of these ideas (they were well buried in a trivial campaign, and anyone can talk about cutting waste) but due to the failings of his main opponent in a dull election in which the voters were not interested.

      Sadly also the Mayor of London has a fraction of the powers that the Mayor of New York has, which means that all he really is is a glorified controller of a $20 billion budget. His success is seen as emanating from how much he can get from central government – all the talk about "cuts" in the UK…and of course if you look at the facts and the projections, the state is due to (and planning to) spend ever more in coming years under a, er, Conservative government – they can talk but will not deliver. Don't look to UK supposedly "Conservative" politicians for sanity on spending – they are as bad as their main opponents, as the Treasury figures show.

    18. Jim says:

      OUr prezbo is already taking us down the road to national socialism. More czars, more planning from D.C., more rules and regulations and we are almost there. Liberty? only if you 'agree' with the Left. Disagree and you will then have no more liberty since you will be an enemy of The State.

    19. allen says:

      This is what the people want that's why they voted, It is the end of their wine and cheese exports, they have to raise the price? Some times the US should pull in our horns and let the rest of the world have a taste of socialism. I would not by anything from France. Let them tax some one 75%, they just move This Dude is another thug who wants his share of the pie on the backs of the people and the Youth want to be taken care of by their GOV.

    20. Basia says:

      Obama promptly called Holllande to congratulate him! They are birds of a feather. Obama has taken the U.S. down the same rapid path of destruction and debt and given a 2nd term, our country will be finished as we know it. Obama is salivating indeed. Be bye American exceptionalism, capitalist opportunties for success and the U.S. Constitution.

    21. Sam Moser says:

      I'm in total agreement with your analisis, the USA citizens are BLINDLY following a deamon possesed, flowery mouthed of words with no meaning and promises that have not come to pass nor ever will. His change is one of hatered for this country and it's people. Our Government is controlled in the Senate by lunitics.
      My disrespect for the congress and the senate is un-explainable at this point of my life, I worked for 37 years in the work place and with every pay check I earned respectfully, Social Security and Medicare, Medicade was deducted from my paycheck, along with millions upon millions of other men and women. Even while we were looking, the scum of the bottom dwellers, congress and the senate stole our money, giving themselves large raises and benifits all at the midnight hour. Now they want to fix it by taking even more away from us. Most of them need to have been sent to prision long ago. Now every week I get in the mail and e-mail, all of these plans to save the country by sending donations to every one in the country, even from obama hussain.

    22. Jeff Dover says:

      If the French people on the whole lack the intelligence to understand their position, it's a real shame. However, it is not our shame. And when they are further down the tubes and the Muslims are ready to take over — they're already in position — it will not be for us to bail them out. They're just too far gone. And maybe that's what the rest of Europe needs to see, first hand, before it realizes, graphically, what its choices are.

      So while the socialist stooges hold the French nation's hand as they lead them to oblivion, let's be sure that our own people understand where it is that they're going…and commit to a different course here.

    23. JBinGB says:

      The french helped the USA out in one war ,we have pulled their fat out of the fire in two world wars! I would say we are more than even. The Germans will win this time!

      • enubus says:

        1776 is a long time ago! The Vichy government in WWII was an enemy, they screwed up in WWI, they really messed up in Indo-China and California wine is much better then theirs! Wait, wait Charles Martel beat back the Muslims from overrunning Europe at the battle of Tours. Ooopps! There are more then 20% Muslims in France as we speak…. Bye! Bye! France

    24. bassboat says:

      If we can return to sanity then we can take advantage of Europe's socialism. Our currency should be stronger than it is now and as a result their goods will be even cheaper. The downside of course is that our goods will be more expensive. This seems to be a standoff but when you combine the socialistic attitude of the european worker he will produce less per hour resulting in an even higher price for the locals and the foreigners will benefit with their currency. One could even suggest that because of a lack of productivity Europe will have to turn to the overseas markets for many of the products that their people want because of their inability to produce what they need. Of course this cannot go on ad infinitum and Europe will implode if they don't come to their senses. You are looking at the continent of Greece.

    25. Akneda says:

      I am so glad that I grew up during WWII. We got involved in the war and was victorious in that effort. Now, I am concerned about the direction of this country. If things do not change as a result of the next election, I am hoping I will not have to live much longer and see this country fall to pieces. My sympathy goes out to the next generation who will not have pride in their country and will struggle to live a good life.
      May God bless the USA!!

    26. tucanofulano says:

      Does "Socialism" actually 'rise', or is it more like a maggot eating its way through the body politic?

    27. Mike says:

      It will be the same here. The majority will vote for the one who promises not to cut their "Social Security, Welfare, Section 8, tax cut, mortgage deduction, student loan interest, health care, SBA loan, or raise their taxes." It is self interest. It takes a knowledgeable, thoughtful, informed, selfless individual to vote for the long term and responsibility. The latter is a small minority.

    28. mikrod says:

      he beginning of the National Socialist movement in Germany started with the introduction of Von Bismarck's "Forward" Socialist Statist governance. It was hijacked by Hitler's Socialism called "fascism". History teaches us that Socialism ultimately requires "force" to be implemented. Though the English have masked their version of it with the "Fabian" notion that Socialism can be implemented by non-violent means. The Progressives in the United States like Hillary clinton and Barack Obama would have you believe that the United States constitution and Socialism are compatible methods of governance, History shows us the impact that socialism has had on the financial health of our country just see for yourselves what socialism has done to your future tax burden. go to http://www.USdebtclock.org/

    29. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Obama is a puppet controlled by Geo. Soros and his minions, we cannot afford to bail ANYONE out, yet e goes around the world promising mllions ans millions, he makes executive orders like he's a king and supreme ruler , he ignores the Constituion, and is just an obnoxious personwith a huge ego.

    30. enubus says:

      This is a perfect example of French delusional behavior, because they always wanted something for nothing, but as Greece found out there are no free lunches. This is Hollande social sauce without any asparagus! To protect the Homeland we must defeat Odumber!

    31. Mike says:

      Hopefully, our country will not make the same mistake as France.

    32. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      From Newsweek Magazine's cover back in January of 2009: "WE'RE ALL SOCIALISTS NOW!"

    33. idaho redneck says:

      The problem, of course, is Europe has been around much longer than the United States. After having been laid waste by numerous wars and financial collapse over and over, I think the average European is rather stoic in their point of view. I suspect they mostly feel "we've been through this before, we will survive it". The only problem now is that the rest of the world will take the bath with them.

    34. I thought everyone on Wall Street signaled that Socialism was the way to go when they took their government bailouts.

    35. We evidently haven't learned from the history of Socialism or Fascism so here we go again. France will fail and we are on the same course and that is why Obama doesn't want Frances new Socialist president to implement any of his policies until after Obama runs for election. The reason is because obama's policies are the same.

    36. troon62 says:

      It's tragic, yet understandable, that people rebel at the painful corrective measures needed to restore economic equilibrium to nations that have over-indulged on excessive public spending and debt. Who wants to feel the pain? However, less understandable is their failure to realize how self-destructive it is to simply return to the 'good old days' or irresponsible spending and debt. It's a truism: the longer you wait to address a problem, the more painful the solution. Welcome to Pain Central, M. Hollande and all of your socialist supporters.

    37. Betty says:

      I believe that in order to be able to refuse socialism, or any of the "isms" the world view that one gains as one grows up matters. Since God was removed from the schools years ago when the Bible as a text was removed, then prayer was removed, the Ten Commandments were removed, there is no guidline for the young generations. so the Occupy experience looks like Woodstock, all fun and party time. but the long view of living and passing on the heritage of discipline, or self control, hard work, creativity that leads to new companies; the understanding of what is good for a nation and what is not good for a nation, all that is lost when socialism is taught in the school systems. I am so upset to learn that Hillary has apparently sold out the US in some treaty that hobbles the US and gives all the citizen's monies away to 160 countries and nothing can be done about it. that is NOT dealing in the best interest of the United States. and if what she did is linked with this Export Import Banking stuff, there are not enough bad words to give expression to my anger.

    38. Ron W. Smith says:

      Good post, Mike Brownfield, except that you forgot something. France and other European countries don't have the drain on resources we in the U.S. do: excessive spending on all that being SuperPower on Call requires. Unlike those countries, we have enormous possibilities for budget-cutting in areas like nation-building, veterans affairs, foreign aid designed to gain the cooperation of other countries, homeland security, and national defense. We spend more than the rest of the world combined on them–over $1,000,000,000,000 a year. All that is required is a reality check on our part. Our $16,000,000,000,000 national debt could be reduced substantially every year by acknowledging largesse born in flusher times to be foolish in leaner ones.
      Forgetting the obvious in favor of continuing support of more than 700 military installations around the world, an international footprint unmatched by any other present-day country or collection of them, a record of intervention and war few countries in the history of Mankind have matched–well, let's just say such forgetting raises questions, the lead among them Why?
      Yes, Mike Brownfield, Why? Why ever would we want to squander dollars and blood abroad while skimping on domestic needs?

    39. Jolicoeur says:

      Since the 1980s, France has had only two socialist presidents: Mitterand, and now Hollande. So it is a bit superficial to indirectly link France's current economic situation to socialist policies. The US's current economic situation is not caused by socialist policies but by republican tax cuts, aggressive foreign policies, wall street malpractices etc, and therefore a comparison with France's economy doesn't fly here. The big difference in net result between both countries is that Americans are burdened with insanely high medical costs, are only entitled to 10 paid vacation days annually (by law), and have to work two or more jobs to be able to make ends meet, whereas in France, people's medical expenses are covered, employees are entitled to at least 4 weeks paid vacation, and do not have to work 50+ hours a week to make ends meet. National debt or not, the French are better off as a people.

    40. Mike Rodriquez says:

      The intellectual determinate for understanding the difference of prudence in judgment goes right to the heart of the issue dealing with understanding where wisdom comes from. Lest anyone think that the wisest man can be so without proper instruction then one simply refuses to acknowledge the difference between indoctrination and objectivity in learning.
      The left posits its philosophy of Socialism to be superior to all others but its result of true test is the level of impartial objectivity. What one sees, on the contrary is that the indoctrination level is commensurate to the lack of understanding displayed by the French and other countries, such that they have adopted the precepts of Keynesian economics to their own detriment.
      Let us be clear, without the ability to generate vast amounts of "real" capital Keynesian economics does not work because its revenue source taxation stream and is not based upon "creative" capitalism, or new mufti-millions of transactions of individual sources of revenue predicated on "new" ideas simply called the active production of basic research, and applied research of individual's R & D to create a new product and bring it to markets. Without capitalism of the United States the world's economic health would shrink to insignificant drivel. What one is seeing now is the implementation of the "hate" for capitalism in an attempt of the Obama administration to strangle the capitalist system of the United States.
      Anyone that doesn't understand that the blood that flows through the veins of the capitalist economic system of the United States is the products created using oil doesn't have a clue why Americans enjoy such a high standard of living.
      No matter how hard the Obama administration tries to strangle capitalism they will fail miserably. Why? Because they would have to cut the heart out of every man woman and child to remove that human desire to create, produce and sell their ideas to the world.

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