Austerity a Recipe for Disaster

With a Tea Party faction of the Republican Party who insists that the only way to save the United States is through austerity measures, the following comment from a recent article in Slate really jumped off the page, “There is no example of a large economy—and Europe is the world’s largest—recovering as a result of austerity.”

The article came across Twitter and was posted in Slate titled, Europe’s rush to austerity will have severe consequences. Yet, tune in to Fox News Network and all you will hear and read is, “Our deficit is out of control…the spending has to stop, or this country will collapse into socialism or worse, communism.”

In fact, several of the prevalent conspiracies are “President Obama is a plant from Russia and his single focus has been to drive our economy into the ground so we can join the communist network”. Not only do we hear these ridiculous comments on the news, we also read them on Facebook, and all other social media sources.

If Barack Obama’s mission was to destroy the United States, he has certainly failed miserably over the past 3 1/2 years. Almost every index following our economy has shown that our it has reversed the dive it was taking from eight years of republican leadership. Even though most trends are positive, and Gallup follows many, we still hear doom and gloom from Facebook commentators and Presidential challenger, Mitt Romney.

You can read the quotes everywhere, “Obama has been a disaster for this economy.”

However, they can’t point to one single index to support their argument. It’s rhetoric and propaganda. Feel free to visit Gallup at  to verify these facts.

If fault can be assessed on the Obama presidency, is that he has been too soft on Wall Street and the billionaire financiers that nearly collapsed the worlds financial markets causing taxpayers to bail them out. Republicans will point out that Obama should not have giving bailouts to our finance industry, but they offered no alternative. In fact, even Mike Pence whiffed when David Gregory of Meet the Press asked him what he thought would have happened if we didn’t bail out the financial industry. He couldn’t even muster an intelligible response – go figure.

So, with all this focus on austerity measures as the “solution” for our municipal, county, states and federal governments who are suffering, or barely limping along, what historical examples are republican leadership referring to as examples when none exists?

Another comment about Europe’s austerity measures in the article that I find rather telling, yet disturbing is:

As a result, society’s most valuable asset, its human capital, is being wasted and even destroyed. Young people who are long deprived of a decent job—and youth unemployment in some countries is approaching or exceeding 50 percent become alienated. When they eventually find work, it will be at a much lower wage. Normally, youth is a time when skills get built up; now, it is a time when they atrophy.

Lower wages in the future with higher student loan balances spell disaster for our youth. Many have leveraged their future in the hopes of obtaining higher wages associated from employers seeking a college degree. This is part of the American Dream which has been peddled for years to our high school and college students. Since future tax revenues rest in the hands of our young, and these young people cannot afford to buy cars, houses, or pay their student loans, our tax units from local to national will receive even less revenue.

Austerity is a recipe for disaster, both in the short-term, and the long-term. It’s the wrong direction and the republicans are wanting to launch us on a course for even further decline. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Furthermore, as the author pointed out, “There are no historical examples which can be cited where austerity has worked.” Not one.

(photo above courtesy of

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.
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