It’s breathtaking the lengths The New York Times will go to, to be or to remain utterly untethered to reality. Nick Kristof has a piece this morning (In Athens, Austerity’s Ugliness) wherein he seriously attempts to assert that Greece is proof that Keynes was RIGHT and that their difficulties lay NOT in government’s gross, gluttonous consumption of tax dollars but in… corruption… specifically the greed of the government officials who wanted more and more the the public tax dollar… which, of course, brings us right back to government’s gluttonous consumption of tax dollars which is EXACTLY what Keynes endorsed, so I’m not sure how Nick thought he was going to get out of this circle, but God bless him, he tried.
The comment I left there – we’ll see if they publish it – is below:
“…a tax bill of, say, $100,000, you pay $40,000 to the state…”
Uh – Isn’t that the same 39.5% Obama has us scheduled for starting January 1?
“Republicans are right to see in Greece some perils of an overgenerous government: The state sector was bloated, early retirements and pensions were sometimes absurd, and rigid labor markets undermined Greece’s competitiveness.”
Uh – Isn’t that EXACTLY what Obama is proposing vis-a-vis unions, and the “fair shake” “fair shot” and “secure retirement” Obama promises in a second term? Because he SURELY isn’t talking about LESS government spending on the middle class in order to insure middle-class workers have “security.”
“But the problem was not a welfare state — Greece has much less of a safety net than northern Europe. Rather, it was corruption, inefficiency and a system in which laws are optional.”
Uh – Couldn’t it be BOTH? And aren’t we NECK DEEP in similar (if not quite equal) corruption HERE?
Do you HONESTLY believe if Greece had an across the board 10% tax with a minimal welfare state they’d be in this fix? Because most people *I* know would be HAPPY to pay a “fair” percentage of their income – HAPPILY – for the privilege of living in America without any efforts to evade it AT ALL. It’s the CONSIFSCATORY nature of the taxes, sir. NOT THE TAXES THEMSELVES. Then, it’s the WASTE and INNEFICIENCY of what government DOES with those taxes that leads to this.