Danish papers announced today that Denmark had a budget surplus of 2.3% of its GDP. Among EU Member States, 5 countries had budget surpluses: Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Ireland and Estonia. This is the reality check part. When they talk about Europe, especially Scandinavia, Americans get images of "socialist" countries with bloated governments and slow growth. And yet here we have evidence that the so-called "Socialist" countries in Scandinavia are more fiscally responsible in a traditional sense than the supposedly conservative administration we have in the USA.
The Europeans get a reality check too. 10 countries failed to meet the EU requirements for low deficits. Notable among those are Germany, France, Italy, and Greece. France, Italy and Greece were governed by right wing governments last year.
Bush and the Republicans are fond of saying that the Democrats want to make American politics more European. I would say that given our own country's economic indicators that Bush is the one who has Europeanized American politics. Bush runs the US like a European from the corporatist (i.e. not capitalist) right. The Republicans don't respect the market, they respect their constituents - monopolistic industrial interests like Big Oil, Big Electricity and Big Pharmaceuticals. Market forces scare monopolists because when markets are healthy monopolies can't survive long. The Republicans aren't the party they were 20 years ago. They are more like the Italian right wing populists (Berlusconi's group) or the French and Greek Gaullists/Nationalists. Bush also has strong ideological similarities with the Bavarian Christian Social Union.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 4:29 AM