One of the constant features of Republican rhetoric about Obama, especially from Mitt Romney these days, is that President Obama is leading American down the path to “European socialism.” Andrew Sullivan explains why this is nonsense:
The irony is that in 2012, in the real world outside of Mitt’s pander-world, much of Europe is being run by center-right governments, who are being dictated to by the center right government in Berlin. And what are 2012’s European policies with respect to the economy? Why, they’re much closer to Romney and the Republicans than Obama and the Democrats.
Germany is insisting on austerity and budget cutting even during a recession, just as the GOP wants. The result is a Europe on the very brink of a serious debt trap, in which cutting debt depresses the economy which depresses revenues which increases the debt some more. Greece and Italy are obviously the prime examples.
But perhaps the more gripping analogy is with Britain, where my Tory friends embarked on a very serious austerity program in the middle of 2010, in the hopes of liquidating the debt quickly, staying on the right side of the bond markets, and allowing new private sector investment to bring back growth. Sure, the US has an advantage of a global reserve currency, and Britain needs to prevent a collapse in the pound if the markets perceive fiscal drift. So Osborne has less lee-way than Obama. But still, the contrast is striking.
Mitt’s pander-world is known here as Planet Wingnuttia.