Friday, May 7, 2010

Liberalism, Not Conservatism, is to Blame for the Greek Debt Crisis

Liberals are blaming the previous conservative Greek government for phony accounting that masked the size of Greece’s public debt. Regardless of the truth of their allegation, Greece has amassed a massive debt not because of conservative policies, but because of the entrenched liberal spending of its government. Lavish welfare entitlements, including extremely generous pensions even for early retirees and a bloated public sector (including socialism) with extremely generous wages and benefits have brought statist Greece to the brink of default. Now a Socialist Greek government is imposing austerity measures, including spending cuts, as well as even higher taxes, in order for the European Monetary Union and the International Monetary fund to bail Greece out of debt, lest the rest of the Eurozone collapse.

Liberal governments increase public debt because of too much domestic spending, despite tax increases, which reduce economic growth and lower government revenue, even though they make massive cuts in defense and intelligence. As in the United States under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, European conservatives are unable to eliminate popular welfare entitlements and then get blamed by the left for the debt the liberal policies create.

The solution to overspending is not bigger government in the form of higher taxes, the socialization of more of the private sector, more regulation and more programs to help those harmed by liberal policies. The solution to too much domestic spending is to cut domestic spending by decreasing the size of government and cutting taxes to spark economic growth, which increases government revenue. In short, the solution for liberalism is not more liberalism, but conservatism.

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