The countries of the European Union are voting out the leaders who had been pushing austerity measures to reduce debt, cut back the welfare states, and get their economies on a more solid footing. French President Sarkozy was ousted in favor of socialist Francois Hollande. Greece, the nation in the worst shape of all, has voted out the coalition of center-left and center-right parties that accepted the tough conditions of Germany’s bailout. In fact, German Prime Minister Angela Merkel is herself facing political setbacks. And so is Great Britain’s David Cameron.
Now is all of this just the political dynamic of voters turning against the incumbents when the economy is a mess? In that case, the trend might seem positive for American conservatives. Or is it, as most commentators are saying, a reaction against the austerity measures, with voters not wanting their benefits cut, to the point of embracing politicians who promise to spend even more in order to help the economy grow. In that case, it would herald well for American progressives.Not that America has experienced much austerity from the current administration. But do you think the general public would support a serious attempt to cut the budget any more than the Europeans would?