How do you know that the Devil needs a heater? When Socialists favor budget cuts!!
Throw your Euro stereotypes out the window: Last weekend, a Greek government that has cut public-sector pay and lowered pensions won a clear victory in local elections. Despite strikes and violence, despite the fact that Greece's debt is still growing and more cuts are coming, there will be a Socialist mayor of Athens for the first time in 24 years. (And, yes, in Greece, the Socialists favor budget cuts, and the conservatives oppose them.)
More seriously, I have maintained for a long time that we have far more government than is healthy for any nation. Most people here in "flyover" country feel much the same way. It goes without saying that my idea of a "healthy" level of government is well below almost everyone else's.
The rest of the world has looked over the precipice. They have seen where the trail of ever growing government leads. And they are now moving steadily and determinedly back down that trail.
While we march ever forward towards predictable disaster.
We remain, of course, the greatest propagandists for liberty and free markets. Our politicians - even President Obama - can be eloquent in the defense of these ideals. But we haven't practiced what we preach for a long time, much longer than we generally recognize. Americans may be from Mars and Europeans from Venus, but would we re-elect a president who cut government wages in half? I find it hard to imagine.
It is the one course of action that might get Mr. Obama re-elected. And not unlike Mr. Nixon's trip to China, Mr. Obama may be the only person that can sell austerity to an American public that is wary of politics as usual.