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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Greek Election a Referendum on Obama’s Anti-Austerity Advice

From recent polling, Greece’s center-right “New Democracy” party has been gaining favor again in light of recent events where Germany and the International Monetary Fund have both recommended that the soon to be impoverished nation should start taking responsibility for their own actions.

The New Democracy and Socialist PASOK parties both favor the austerity plans that have been put forth by the European Union. Greece’s radical left party, Syriza, opposes these austerity measures but favors continued financial support from the EU which is akin to saying; "We'll take your money but promise you nothing.".
Greece is the bigger deal as a referendum on the present state of U.S. economic policy since France, having just ousted Nicolas Sarkozy, isn’t in nearly the trouble financially as Greece is right now.  These are desparate times in Greece and to see which way the people turn will determine if they will remain a debtor nation or regain a respected financial stature in the world.

President Obama just last week offered his sage advice on helping the Greek economy by advising the EU to back off their austerity plan for the country and instead provide more stimulus for the hapless Greeks.  After all, it’s worked so well here in the U.S., right? 
This message was also echoed by that great congressional financial mastermind, Barney Frank, who so successfully engineered the fall of the U.S. housing market by staunchly denying in front of an investigatory panel that there was nothing unsound about government mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which collapsed three years later taking the U.S. economy into recession. Sorta just fills you with optimism, don't it?
Germany and the IMF have since weighed in that floating bonds to bail out Greece or providing any additional funds, which would come from German taxpayers, would be like throwing money down a bottomless pit. Christine Lagarde of the IMF recommended Greek citizens start paying their own taxes.  The Greeks have expressed mock outrage and denials but I have a friend who has owned a house in Greece for the past 15 years and he’s yet to pay a dime in property tax so there just may be something to what Ms. Lagarde is saying.

So asking taxpayers in one part of the EU to bail out tax scofflaws in another probably doesn’t sit well with the vast majority of German taxpayers or it’s government. I’m guessing.
If the radical left should prevail in Greece’s elections, voting down the austerity approach to the Greek debt crisis, the people's voice will be clear. But if the New Democrats gain enough seats and build a majority with the Socialist party, the country just may accept the EU austerity measures and bring financial responsibility back to a country out of control when it comes to spending money they don’t make and can’t print.

This would be a rebuke of the Obama administration’s recommendations proving that despite the irresponsibility of a few countries, the EU isn’t so stupid as to accept financial advice from people who have never run a hot dog stand before.
Now if we can only bring some financial responsibility back to the U.S.

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