The New Reality: We’re Broke

Michael Ramirez

Regardless of next month’s U.S. election results, it seems increasingly clear that the old battle between liberals and conservatives is really coming to an end and the liberals have lost. The reason? There simply is no money for the big government programs that keep liberals in power.

While President Barry and his congressional colleagues are trying to make us more like Europe, pacifist and government-dependent, European governments have had no other choice but to make their countries more like us, except they’re still pacifist and dependent on us for their defense.

The French are truly embarrassing, as Guy Sorman points out:

The French have a long tradition of taking to the streets as an irrational answer to economic reforms. In 1848, when a democratically elected government tried to contain monetary inflation, the nascent Socialist Party raised barricades in Paris. Alexis de Tocqueville, then a member of the parliament, wrote in his “Memoires” that the French knew a lot about politics and understood nothing about economics. The current disruption of French cities by strikes and riots illustrates the continuity of this political culture.

The pretext for the current “social movement,” as we call it in French, is a perfectly rational initiative by President Nicolas Sarkozy to raise the legal age of retirement to 62 from 60. It had been lowered to 60 from 65 in 1983 by the socialist François Mitterrand. Going up to 62 is thus a modest return to sanity: 62 happens to be the average in the European Union.

The rationale behind this reform—an aging population—can be understood by all the French. Longer life expectancy and slow economic growth offer no other choice to save the public pension funds from bankruptcy…

The British and the German governments are also trying to face reality, and at least so far the Brits and Germans are behaving rationally about it. When you add to that the amazing admission by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that multiculturalism has been a dismal failure, even leftist gadflies like Rachel Maddow (click on her name to see and hear her at her paranoid worst) would have to admit that their days are numbered.

Richard Fernandez says it well:

…The problem with living in denial is that once the illusion shatters, the pendulum is apt to swing completely the other way. Overconfidence can be instantaneously replied by blind panic in the press. It’s easy to see why. All around the liberal landscape the pillars are collapsing. When the Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby notices that Barney Frank can’t play the gay card any more, a tectonic shift has occurred. Frank has gone from a man who would win by twenty points “no matter what he did” to a tired old man fighting for his political life in the bluest of blue districts.

Mr. Frank, 70, has not faced a competitive contest in over two decades. But Mr. Bielat is a compelling candidate, a fresh-faced former Marine with a Georgetown-Harvard-and-Wharton pedigree, and he is trying to capitalize on the anti-incumbent sentiment sweeping the country. With less than two weeks until Election Day, he has made this race far closer than anyone anticipated (Mr. Frank even lent his campaign $200,000 of his own money this week.).

How bad things will turn out to be in the next few months is a matter of conjecture. What appears to be true is that the old certainties are finished. By how big a margin is the question. The arithmetic is brutal. The money that once supported the welfare state is gone. Big Government “Hope and Change” is dead because it’s broke. Broke. Broke. Ask the Fed. All the protests in the world are not going to change that fact.

And the commissars at the people’s republic of NPR have fired Juan Williams because he made a slightly politically incorrect comment about Muslims on Fox News. Why am I forced to subsidize these a..holes?

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