Keyword: austerity

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  • Brussels burns as more than 100,000 protesters clash with police during march against EU

    11/06/2014 4:44:16 PM PST · by mojito · 40 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 11/6/2014 | Peter Allen
    Violence broke out on the streets of Brussels today as more than 100,000 people marched against EU-enforced austerity. Water cannons and tear gas were used in the centre of the Belgian capital as riot police tried to bring the situation under control. Fighting broke out soon after the end of a largely peaceful march organised by trade unions and left wing politicians. For two hours, the demonstrators had peacefully marched down the main thoroughfares of central Brussels to protest government policies that will raise the pension age, contain wages and cut into public services. But violence broke out at the...
  • Public Spending Needs a Drastic Reduction: Not Plan B but Plan Liberty GB

    10/24/2014 2:14:36 PM PDT · by Enza Ferreri · 2 replies
    Enza Ferreri Blog ^ | 24 October 2014 | Enza Ferreri
    Despite all talks of austerity, £1,521.2 billion was the UK’s public debt at the end of the financial year 2013/14, as much as – be prepared for this, but probably you already are - 87.8% of GDP. The Office for National Statistics, the source of these data, in a recent release also informs that this debt represented an increase of £100.6 billion compared to the end of 2012/13. Still according to the ONS, government borrowing, excluding the effects of bank bail-outs, was £11.8 billion in September 2014, £1.6 billion higher than September 2013. Without all their many zeros, these...
  • France and Friends: Merkel Increasingly Isolated on Austerity

    09/06/2014 4:20:58 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    Der Spiegel ^ | September 03, 2014 – 04:41 PM | Nikolaus Blome, Ralf Neukirch, Christian Reiermann, Mathieu von Rohr and Christoph Schult
    The debate over Germany’s insistence on eurozone austerity has flared anew as an ailing France continues to demand economic stimulus. The European Central Bank may now be siding with Paris, leaving Merkel looking increasingly alone. […] Berlin is particularly alarmed by the stance taken by ECB head Mario Draghi. At the annual conference of top central bankers from around the world at Jackson Hole, Wyoming in August, Draghi surprised those present by saying “there is leeway to achieve a more growth-friendly composition of fiscal policies.” It was a comment that came close to the kind of debt-fueled growth stimulus measures...
  • Aussie rules: Australia lays off 16,500 government workers, cuts entitlement programs

    05/14/2014 9:10:00 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 20 replies
    New York Post ^ | 05/14/2014
    When Bill de Blasio released his budget for New York last Thursday, he made clear his approach for the next few years: more government, more spending and more borrowing against tomorrow to pay for today. Meanwhile in Australia, the new Tony Abbott government has taken the opposite approach. Treasurer Joe Hockey’s budget is based on the idea that governments, like families, need to live within their means. As he put it Wednesday: “The days of borrow and spend must come to an end.” In practical terms, that means layoffs for 16,500 government workers. It means cuts in entitlements, cuts in...
  • Arrest of Adams is 'an act against democracy'

    05/02/2014 5:50:26 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    EU Observer ^ | May 2, 2014 | unattributed
    The European Left's candidate for the European Commission presidency, Alexis Tsipras, Friday called for the immediate release of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams who is been held for questioning in connection with the 1972 murder of Jean McConville. Tsipras called the arrest a "politically inflammatory act against democracy".
  • Obama budget declares end to … austerity?

    02/21/2014 7:44:36 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 6 replies
    Hotair ^ | 02/21/2014 | Ed Morrissey
    Say, did you know that we are living in the age of austerity budgets in Washington? This year’s budget will spend more than last year’s $3.44 trillion, but not as much as Barack Obama requested for FY2014, which was an apparently austere $3.778 trillion. Nevertheless, the Washington Post reports that a newly-emboldened President will demand an end to an “era of austerity” that we haven’t seen in decades with his new FY2015 budget proposal: President Obama’s forthcoming budget request will seek tens of billions of dollars in fresh spending for domestic priorities while abandoning a compromise proposal to tame the...
  • With 2015 budget request, Obama will call for an end to era of austerity (LOL - I know, right?)

    02/21/2014 6:16:17 AM PST · by mykroar · 14 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 2/20/14 | Zachary Goldfarb
    President Obama’s forthcoming budget request will seek tens of billions of dollars in fresh spending for domestic priorities while abandoning a compromise proposal to tame the national debt in part by trimming Social Security benefits. With the 2015 budget request, Obama will call for an end to the era of austerity that has dogged much of his presidency and to his efforts to find common ground with Republicans. Instead, the president will focus on pumping new cash into job training, early-childhood education and other programs aimed at bolstering the middle class, providing Democrats with a policy blueprint heading into the...
  • U.S. inequality is curable

    01/06/2014 9:27:56 AM PST · by MegaSilver · 42 replies
    Prudent Bear ^ | 6 January 2014 | Martin Hutchinson
    The Democrat playbook for 2014, we are told, intends to focus on U.S. inequality and to suggest that only redistributive taxation will solve or even alleviate it. Certainly it's possible to reduce inequality through punitive levels of taxation—at the cost of making everybody poorer. I thus thought it worthwhile to disentangle the current causes of U.S. inequality to see how we might alleviate it by raising the incomes of the poor rather than simply depressing those of the rich. With good policies, this could even provide general economic uplift rather than depression, which would happen with redistributive tax. The policy...
  • The Austerity Flip-Flop (Krugman)

    01/05/2014 3:13:53 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    Marginal Revolution ^ | January 5, 2014 at 7:07 am | Alex Tabarrok
    On April 28, 2013 Paul Krugman clearly said that 2013 was a test of market monetarism:But as Mike Konczal points out, we are in effect getting a test of the market monetarist view right now, with the Fed having adopted more expansionary policies even as fiscal policy tightens.Yesterday (Jan 4, 2014) however, Paul Krugman, said:…I don’t take seriously the claims of market monetarists that the failure of growth to collapse in 2013 somehow showed that fiscal policy doesn’t matter. …
  • EU penpushers take THREE TIMES the sick days of British workers: Figures show…

    12/30/2013 10:14:19 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 8 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 06:02 EST, 30 December 2013 | Larisa Brown
    EU officials are off sick three times more than the average British worker, it was revealed last night. According to official figures, European Commission officials took an average of 14.6 days off sick last year—triple the amount taken by British workers in the private sector. One in seven staff were absent from more than 20 days. In contrast, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry found British staff working in the private sector took around five sick days a year. The figures also showed European officials even outstripped Britain’s civil servants and public sector staff—who took half as many...
  • EU’s £2.4bn ad budget higher than Coca-Cola’s: Huge amount revealed in new “fiscal factbook”…

    09/29/2013 6:33:59 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 2 replies
    Mail on Sunday (UK) ^ | 17:17 EST, 29 September 2013 | Steve Doughty
    The European Union spends more on advertising than the drinks giant Coca-Cola, according to a new analysis of how Brussels uses our money. Its budget for promoting itself and all its works comes to £2.4 billion a year. That compares to the £2.13 billion spent in the same year by the soft drinks company on promoting its brand around the world. The vast scale of the EU’s self-promotion was set down in a new “fiscal factbook” designed to shed light on how Brussels spends the billions it receives from Britain and other member countries. … And on a larger scale,...
  • Defend Europe, if you still dare

    08/08/2013 11:44:56 AM PDT · by ScaniaBoy · 7 replies
    Daily Telegraph ^ | 8 August, 2013 | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
    This from the ECB's monthly bulletin today: The youth jobless rate in Greece has just reached 64.9pc. Little to add. This is pure policy error. Europe has needlessly pushed the whole EMU bloc into a deep double-dip recession, and the longest unbroken contraction since World War Two.
  • Russia can't raise state spending forever: Putin

    07/08/2013 9:08:55 PM PDT · by cunning_fish · 9 replies
    Reuters via Yahoo! ^ | June 13, 2013 | Darya Korsunskaya and Douglas Busvine
    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia cannot afford to keep raising state spending, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, but it must find the money to fulfill the social commitments he made on his return to the Kremlin last year. Putin, in an annual presentation of the government's three-year budget plan, said that "the possibility of constantly and quickly raising state spending has been exhausted." The 60-year-old leader won a third presidential term last year with the help of aggressive pre-election spending hikes. But a slowing economy and falling prices for oil - Russia's main export earner - are now squeezing the...
  • Protests, Disbelief After Greek Government Axes Public Broadcaster (MSM too scared to cover)

    Employees defied the government shutdown and continued to broadcast live coverage of the protests online after over-the-air transmissions were blocked. The Greek government's decision to pull the plug on its national public broadcaster has sparked major protests with media workers, politicians and members of the public gathering outside offices of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, the ERT, in Athens. Greece's conservative government shut off ERT's signal Tuesday night, hours after announcing that the public broadcaster, which costs Greek taxpayers around $400 million (€300 million) a year would be closed as part of national austerity programs. Greece has already drastically slashed public...
  • Thousands expected at German austerity protest (“anticapitalist” really)

    05/30/2013 12:50:08 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    Associated Press ^ | May 30, 2013 1:21 PM EDT
    Police in Germany’s financial capital, Frankfurt, have ringed the European Central Bank with metal barricades a day ahead of anti-capitalist protests expected to draw several thousand people. Members of the Blockupy group say they will try to prevent employees from reaching the ECB building for several hours Friday to highlight what they say is the bank’s role in enforcing the harsh spending cuts introduced to tackle the euro area’s three-year debt crisis. A second demonstration is planned at Deutsche Bank’s headquarters nearby. … Blockupy includes people who participated in the Occupy movement, which protested the role of global capitalism by...
  • Brussels gravy train like “last days of Rome”: EU MEPs earn up to 740% more than average citizen…

    05/23/2013 1:17:28 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 10:46 EST, 23 May 2013 | Alan Hall
    The gilded lifestyle of MEPs has been compared to the uncontrolled excesses of ancient Rome after research showed their perks have not been dented despite biting austerity measures. From Italian MEPs who enjoy free haircuts to Maltese ones who get 52 free gallons of petrol a month, the perks—and expenses—continue unabated for the representatives of European Union nations. MEPs from the 27 EU nations are paid salaries of £137 million ($207 million) a year, according to research by German pricing watchdog, and some earn 740 percent more than the average citizen. …
  • IMF: U.S. Cutting Budget Deficits Too Quickly

    05/20/2013 2:55:03 PM PDT · by blam · 28 replies
    Fox News ^ | 5-20-2013 | Reuters
    <p>The International Monetary Fund on Monday said the United States was getting carried away with a government austerity drive, offering some of the institution's bluntest criticism yet of Washington's rush to cut its budget deficit.</p> <p>Despite high unemployment, Washington is on track to slash its budget shortfall this year by the most in nearly a half century.</p>
  • Washington Post Column: The rich can save Social Security, by giving up their checks

    05/16/2013 8:34:20 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 67 replies
    Washington ComPost ^ | 05/16/2013 | Jim Roumell, Founder of investment management firm Roumell Asset Management LLC.
    In the aftermath of 9/11, many young, strong Americans enlisted, willingly agreeing to sacrifice their lives if necessary to protect our country’s interests. Today’s wealthiest Americans have the same opportunity to put their country’s interests before their own. Politicians should not shy away from asking them to put forth not their lives but what are, for them, their modest Social Security checks. The philosophy of the investment management firm I founded 15 years ago focuses first on a company’s balance sheet and second on its income statement. This approach has served our clients well. The current debate over entitlement reform...
  • Israelis March against Austerity Budget

    05/11/2013 3:21:16 PM PDT · by Eleutheria5
    Israelis marched late Saturday in an echo of mass cost of living protests in 2011, but this time their ire focused on finance minister Yair Lapid who came to power in January on the coattails of that protest movement. 2,000 people gathered in central Tel Aviv, an AFP journalist said, to protest against an austerity budget due for cabinet debate on Monday. The budget is expected to raise income tax and VAT while slashing government spending, including social benefits. Rallies were also scheduled for Jerusalem, Haifa and elsewhere on Saturday, but local media reported just 150 taking part in Haifa...
  • Goodbye To Economic Austerity

    04/29/2013 6:36:06 PM PDT · by blam · 6 replies
    The Market Oracle ^ | 4-29-2013 | Alasdair Macleod
    Goodbye To Economic Austerity Economics / Global EconomyApril 29, 2013 - 12:30 PM GMT By: Alasdair Macleod There is a new campaign to end austerity. First, the IMF lets it be known it has second thoughts about it; then we are told the threshold of 90% government debt to GDP which must not be crossed, set by Professors Reinhart & Rogoff, is based on an excel spread-sheet error. Lastly, Bill Gross of PIMCO, the largest bond fund in the world, tells us austerity is not working. The new mood is spreading, to the relief of beleaguered countries like Spain and...
  • Greece starts firing civil servants for first time in a century

    04/27/2013 4:18:29 PM PDT · by JerseyanExile · 34 replies
    Christian Science monitor ^ | April 26, 2013 | Nikolia Apostolou
    The Greek government began its first mass-firing of public-sector workers in more than 100 years this week, part of an effort to lay off 180,000 by 2015 under Europe-imposed austerity. Pushed by its European creditors amid its crippling economic crisis, Greece began this week to do something it hasn't done in more than 100 years: fire public-sector workers en masse. Following weeks of tough negotiations with its lenders – the "troika" of the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and the European Central Bank – the Greek government started laying off public-sector workers in an effort to implement the austerity...
  • Business Insider: The Economic Argument Is Over -- Paul Krugman Has Won

    04/24/2013 7:28:40 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 66 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 04/24/2013 | Henry Blodget
    For the past five years, a fierce war of words and policies has been fought in America and other economically challenged countries around the world. On one side were economists and politicians who wanted to increase government spending to offset weakness in the private sector. This "stimulus" spending, economists like Paul Krugman argued, would help reduce unemployment and prop up economic growth until the private sector healed itself and began to spend again. On the other side were economists and politicians who wanted to cut spending to reduce deficits and "restore confidence." Government stimulus, these folks argued, would only increase...
  • Reinhart and Rogoff Were Wrong Even Without the 'Spreadsheet Error'

    04/24/2013 7:26:09 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 6 replies
    RCM ^ | 04/24/2013 | John Tamny
    Though Kenneth Rogoff has written some fairly obtuse op-eds over the years, the book he co-authored with Carmen Reinhart, This Time Is Different, was very much a worthwhile read. If their Keynesian, Phillip's Curve ideology is ignored, they offered some really interesting statistics. Most useful to this reader was their soberly introduced point that Greece has been in default half of its modern existence. About government defaults more broadly, they similarly clarified that defaults are rarely an all or nothing thing, rather they generally involve slight ‘haircuts' for creditors. And while they didn't tie this to modern times, they made...
  • Did Harvard Economists Make an Excel Error that Led to Economic Austerity?

    04/17/2013 2:40:34 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 10 replies
    Yahoo Finance ^ | 04/17/2013 | By Lauren Lyster | Daily Ticker
    Austerity has become almost like a four-letter word in some circles. It’s used to describe policies meant to reduce government spending and debt that may be painful in the here and now -- measures such as cuts to social services, or that lead to job losses in the short-term. A key piece of empirical research policymakers have used to justify “austerity measures” has been a 2010 study by two Harvard economists, Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, about the downside of high debt. Well now another set of academics at University of Massachusetts at Amherst have replicated the study. They...
  • Austerity Is Not to Blame for Tepid Job Growth

    04/06/2013 10:32:02 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 7 replies
    Democrats were quick to blame the anemic March jobs number on the "sequester" spending cuts. If that were the case, what explains the previous four years of lousy job growth under Obama? At 88,000, the jobs growth in March was well below expectations. And while the unemployment rate dropped, that was the result of hundreds of thousands dropping out of the labor force who as a result aren't counted as unemployed. Democrats, of course, tried to pin the blame for this on Republicans for allegedly pushing austerity measures. White House economic adviser Alan Krueger complained that "arbitrary and unnecessary cuts...
  • Tax havens are killing our democracies

    04/04/2013 12:04:28 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 18 replies
    Le Monde via PressEurop ^ | 4 April 2013 | Natalie Nougayrède
    The global financial convulsion of 2007-2008 was followed by the resounding announcement of new priorities: international finance was to be better regulated and there was to be no mercy in the fight against tax havens. In short, we were to put an end to the black holes in a system that was wide open to abuse—at least if the very virtuous conclusions of the G20 held in London were to be believed. … Revelations of individual cases, no matter how fascinating they are, should not be allowed to distract attention from the underlying problem: tax havens are a threat to...
  • U.S. Marines rattled by bullet shortage

    03/25/2013 10:33:42 PM PDT · by Perseverando · 48 replies
    WND ^ | March 25, 2013 | Garth Kant
    Rank and file told to conserve as Big Sis buys by the billion At least one branch of the U.S. military is scrimping and saving every bullet it can while the Department of Homeland Security is on a bullet-buying spree. Marine Corps Commandant James F. Amos blames sequester budget cuts for causing the Corps to have to scrimp and save every bullet. In a video to Marines, he says, “I ask you to save every round, every gallon of gas, that you take every single aspect, or opportunity, in training to get the most bang for the buck.” “This is...
  • Shocking Revelation: RINOs Agree to Kill Deadly Austerity Beast

    03/09/2013 1:59:27 PM PST · by DanMiller · 4 replies
    Dan Miller's Blog ^ | March 9, 2013 | Dan Miller
    Innocent children, poor and minorities have been the worst hit. WARNING: attempted satire.On Wednesday, President Obama dined with a dozen congressional Republicans at an unpretentious little restaurant in a Washington, D.C. ghetto. His purpose was to show them how badly the poor, minorities -- and particularly little children -- have already been scarred, perhaps for life, by the Ravenous Bugblatter Austerity Beast of Traal. Even the dreams of little children that they might visit Barack's Barracks the White House this Spring have been dashed, viciously. Showing the determined leadership and frugality all have learned to expect from him, President Obama...
  • White House Is Saving $18,000 a Week By Cancelling Tours

    03/07/2013 7:27:54 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 26 replies
    National Review ^ | 03/07/2013 | Patrick Brennan
    ABC reports tonight: “Republicans accuse the White House of playing politics. But the White House says it is canceling the tours because sequester spending cuts have sliced $84 million out of the Secret Service’s $1.6 billion budget. And they are the ones who secure the tours. They wouldn’t say how much this saves, so we did some math. Tours are open 20 hours a week and use 30 uniformed Secret Service officers at about $30 an hour. Total saved? Approximately $18,000 a week.” (Via The Weekly Standard.)Assuming ABC’s per-week estimate is correct, if you’re looking over an entire fiscal year,...
  • Hundreds of thousands march against austerity in Portugal

    03/02/2013 5:55:23 PM PST · by Lancey Howard · 29 replies
    AFP via ^ | March 2, 2013 | AFP
    AFP - Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Lisbon and other Portuguese cities Saturday to protest against the government's austerity measures aimed at rescuing the debt-hit eurozone nation. The rallies were organised by a non-political movement which claimed 500,000 marched in the country's capital and another 400,000 in the main northern city of Porto. There have been no official estimates of the crowds. But the mood of the crowd was clearly political, calling for new elections with banners declaring "Portugal to the polls!" and "If you fall asleep in a democracy, you wake up in a...
  • Calvin Coolidge: The ‘Scrooge’ Who Begat Plenty

    02/12/2013 6:42:18 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 13 replies
    The American ^ | 02/13/2013 | Amity Shlaes
    Civility to one’s opponents, certainty, restraint, federalism, economy, thrift, and respect for faith: these and other Coolidge ideals are needed today. Debt takes its toll. To no one had this ever seemed clearer than to a 61-year-old farmer named Oliver Coolidge, who languished in Woodstock Common Jail in Windsor County, Vermont, in the spring of 1849. Oliver was behind bars because he owed a neighbor, Frederick Wheeler, $24.23. He had not honored a contract because he lacked the money to honor it. Now his debt had climbed to $29.48 because the justice of the peace had ruled that he had...
  • No, the negative fourth-quarter GDP report doesn’t prove ‘austerity’ is killing the US economy

    01/31/2013 6:24:44 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 7 replies
    American Enterprise Institute ^ | 01/31/2013 | James Pethokoukis
    US economic output fell at a 0.1% annualized rate in the fourth quarter, adjusted for inflation. Blame spending cuts, say the Democrats. Blame Republican “austerity.” And one more thing: Stop the sequester. As the Center for American Progress put it: “The economy most certainly would have grown at a faster rate were it not for the ongoing political brinksmanship over the debt ceiling and the risk of sharp fiscal contraction in the form of the pending automatic ‘sequestration’ budget cuts.”If you break down the GDP report, you begin to see the problem with this line of argument. Private-sector GDP...
  • Italy risks political crisis as MPS bank scandal turns 'explosive'

    01/30/2013 10:00:25 PM PST · by bruinbirdman
    The Telegraph ^ | 1/30/2013 | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
    Italian magistrates investigating losses at Banca Monte dei Paschi say the mushrooming scandal has taken a dramatic turn, with political fallout that threatens to rock the country’s elections next month and upset eurozone plans for a banking union. “The situation is explosive,” said Tito Salerno, head of the prosecuting team in Siena, describing the fast-moving events at Italy’s third-largest bank as extremely grave. The Milan bourse tumbled 3.4pc and yields on 10-year Italian bonds spiked 15 basis points to 4.31pc as the political scandal widened. Monte dei Paschi (MPS), the world’s oldest bank dating back to 1472, is under investigation...
  • The Most Likely Cause Of The Next Recession...

    01/21/2013 8:08:21 AM PST · by blam · 19 replies
    TBI ^ | 1-21-2013 | Joe Weisenthal
    The Most Likely Cause Of The Next Recession... Joe WeisenthalJanuary 21,2013 Bill McBride at Calculated Risk has a great post up about the difficulty of recession forecasting. One difficulty is incentives. Many on Wall Street have a persistent incentive towards optimism. On the other hand, blog/media pundits have more of a pessimism bias, since bad news sells. McBride himself, who called the downturn and the upturn, writes: "Now one of my blogging goals is to see if I can get lucky again and call the next recession correctly." So what will cause the next recession? McBride thinks there are three...
  • Southern Europeans flee to London to find work

    01/07/2013 8:57:09 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 12 replies
    EurActiv ^ | 07 January 2013
    Britain, and especially London, has become a popular place for tens of thousands of southern Europeans in search of work as the governments of Spain, Portugal and Italy continue to impose austerity measures. 5,350 Spaniards and 5,370 Italians were allocated national insurance numbers in London in the first quarter of 2012, according to The Times newspaper. The number of national insurance registrations for Spaniards across Britain has soared by 25% year on year. The unemployment rate is more than 25% in Spain. …
  • Used to Hardship, Latvia Accepts Austerity, and Its Pain Eases

    01/02/2013 11:57:41 AM PST · by Brad from Tennessee · 12 replies
    New York Times ^ | Jan. 1, 2013 | By ANDREW HIGGINS
    RIGA, Latvia — When a credit-fueled economic boom turned to bust in this tiny Baltic nation in 2008, Didzis Krumins, who ran a small architectural company, fired his staff one by one and then shut down the business. He watched in dismay as Latvia’s misery deepened under a harsh austerity drive that scythed wages, jobs and state financing for schools and hospitals. --------------------snip--------------------------- Hardship has long been common here — and still is. But in just four years, the country has gone from the European Union’s worst economic disaster zone to a model of what the International Monetary Fund hails...
  • Greco Sees Double

    12/29/2012 9:07:08 AM PST · by jfd1776
    Illinois Review ^ | December 28, 2012 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    The minor mob boss from the south of Europe learns about how hard it is for a small business to survive, with big government, high taxes, and EU austerity programs crushing your every effort... coming soon to a western nation near you?... ------------------ It was a good day for a walk. The sun was shining, the air was clear… the view from Athens, out across the lovely Aegian Sea, had never been so sparkling. So Greco put on his pea coat and fisherman’s cap, clipped his blackjack on his belt and checked his pocket for his switchblade, pulled on his...
  • Greco Sees A Beating

    12/23/2012 7:21:08 PM PST · by jfd1776 · 5 replies
    Illinois Review ^ | December 23, 2012 A.D. | John F. Di Leo
    (Today, our friendly mob boss learns the ultimate conclusion of punitive taxation:) Greco was making his rounds, one cool December morning, when he turned the corner and saw an unexpected sight. One of his clients, a shopkeeper who was never late with his protection payments, was sitting on the park bench in front of his shop, covered in bandages, gently rubbing his cheek and temples. “Giannis!” shouted Greco as he strode up. “What happened? Were you in an accident?” Giannis looked up. “Yeah, it was an accident, all right.” “You look like you were hit by a bus!” said Greco....
  • EU budget agreed after MEPs settle for €3.8-billion spending hike

    12/12/2012 11:50:50 PM PST · by Olog-hai
    EU Observer ^ | 12.12.12 @ 20:48 | Benjamin Fox
    The 2013 EU budget has been agreed after MEPs signed off on a deal worth €132.8 billion ($173.8 billion) in Strasbourg on Wednesday (12 December). The agreement breaks months of deadlock between MEPs, the commission and national governments. It increases EU spending next year by just €3.8 billion ($4.97 billion), over €5 billion ($6.5 billion) less than the sums demanded by MEPs and the EU executive. It also includes a controversial deal providing just €6.1 billion ($7.98 billion) of emergency funding to the European Commission to cover outstanding bills from 2012. …
  • The US Is Entering A New Era Of Fiscal Austerity

    12/07/2012 3:46:03 AM PST · by blam · 12 replies
    TBI ^ | 12-7-2012 | Comstock Partners
    The US Is Entering A New Era Of Fiscal Austerity Comstock PartnersDec. 6, 2012, 6:59 PM In discussing the fiscal cliff issue, the one big takeaway not to forget is that it is all about austerity----extreme austerity if we go over the cliff and a lesser amount of austerity if we settle it before year-end. More than likely, this is the start of new era of fiscal austerity in the U.S. In no way do we see this as a solution to the myriad of problems besetting the U.S. economy and stock market. These include the still excessive level of...
  • Sen. Graham: Obama’s Economic Plan Will Turn US Into Greece

    12/02/2012 10:25:51 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 30 replies
    Newsmax ^ | Sunday, 02 Dec 2012 01:03 PM | Amy Woods
    Sen. Lindsey Graham said President Barack Obama’s plan to prevent American from going over the fiscal cliff is “a joke.” “I think we’re going over the cliff,” the South Carolina Republican said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “It’s pretty clear to me they’ve made a political calculation. This offer doesn’t remotely deal with entitlement reform in a way to save Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security from imminent bankruptcy.” …
  • Fiscal Cuts in Connecticut

    11/28/2012 1:41:31 PM PST · by whattajoke · 6 replies
    The Governor's Office ^ | 11/28/12 | Dannel Malloy
    Connecticut is hurting. We have a Democratic Governor with a stacked state house. We've been cooking the books for 20 years (with RINO gov's too). Today, a giant list of cuts was released... Now we'll see what happens. The cuts are here.
  • Greeks angered by "princes of parliament" pay fight

    11/11/2012 3:27:58 PM PST · by dynachrome · 6 replies
    Reuters ^ | 11-11-12 | Michael Winfrey and Lefteris Papadimas
    When Greece's government pushed through a law last week aimed at slashing public wages and raising taxes, its biggest threat was not the firebrand opposition or the 100,000 protesters thronged at the gates of parliament. It was the assembly's workers themselves, a well-connected group that has long evoked disdain for enjoying the kind of lavish pay and benefits that have become emblematic of the public sector excess at the heart of Greece's debt crisis. The staff dispute that image. But, having discovered that a 500-odd page draft law of cost cuts and tax hikes included a last minute amendment giving...
  • Woman plunges to death as bailiffs arrive to evict her (Bilbao, Spain)

    11/10/2012 6:31:58 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 19 replies ^ | 10/11/2012 - 09:22:27 (November 10)
    A woman jumped to her death as bailiffs approached to evict her from her fourth-floor Spanish apartment for failing to pay the mortgage. It was the second apparent suicide linked to evictions and further highlights the dire conditions many Spaniards find themselves in as the country’s economy sinks. The government recently created a task force to study how to reduce evictions because of the devastating personal impact of repossessions due to tough mortgage rules and growing unease among the public on the subject. The unnamed 53-year-old woman threw herself from her balcony in a suburb of Bilbao, the regional Interior...
  • Investors Fear More Than Just a 'Fiscal Cliff'

    11/07/2012 6:58:35 PM PST · by Perdogg · 29 replies
    The Dow plunged 313 points yesterday, but don’t believe news media reports that it was the nearness of the “fiscal cliff” that caused the selloff. What spooked investors is a bigger picture that recognizes the economically catastrophic implications of a second Obama term. To be clear, there is nothing Romney could have done to avoid the deflationary Depression that lies ahead. However, a Romney presidency might have at least served as a reality check on malfeasant fiscal practices, delaying the onslaught of hard times for perhaps long enough to allow Americans to put their financial houses in better order before...
  • Austerity vs. Stimulus – What else do you need to know?

    11/01/2012 12:10:52 PM PDT · by DeprogramLiberalism
    Deprogramming Liberalism ^ | June 13, 2012 | Jim Autio
    The 1920s began with a severe post WWI depression even worse than the start of the Great Depression of the 1930s. During the Roaring Twenties (get the name?) Presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge implemented an austerity strategy, including a re-embracing of the laissez-faire free market policies from the late nineteenth century. It included severely cutting taxes across the board, a huge reduction in government size, massive spending reductions, and extensive deregulation. Their only mistake was not cutting trade barriers, so when the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was proposed in 1929 under new President Herbert Hoover to drastically increase tariffs and implement stricter domestic industry protection...
  • Our Greek Tragedy

    10/17/2012 6:55:42 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 6 replies
    Personal Liberty Digest ^ | October 17, 2012 | John Myers
    Regardless of who the President is after this close election, the equity markets and the U.S. economy are in trouble. Debt has spread throughout the Western world. The fallout is political dissonance, growing economic hardship and, in some places, mob violence.Ground zero for the spreading fear and panic is Greece, which was once the world’s greatest civilization and the birthplace of democracy, poetry and philosophy.There is violent evidence of the contradiction from what the ancients taught and what is unraveling in Greece. It would all just be another boring story at the end of the news day, except there is...
  • Spain quip adds to Romney's foreign policy trouble (3 bag barf alert)

    10/07/2012 10:19:39 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 12 replies
    pioneer press/ap ^ | 10-7-12 | BRADLEY KLAPPER
    WASHINGTON—If Mitt Romney becomes president, he might need a crash course in Diplomacy 101. He irritated Britons and Palestinians during a summer tour abroad and has declared Russia to be America's No. 1 geopolitical foe. Just last week, the Republican candidate, who plans a foreign policy speech Monday, raised eyebrows in Spain by holding it up as a prime example of government spending run amok. That left Spaniards confused, and threatened to reinforce Romney's perceived handicap in international affairs, precisely at a time when lingering questions over the Sept. 11 attacks against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, has President...
  • Thousands protest against French austerity budget

    10/02/2012 12:00:05 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 01.10.12 @ 09:51 (October 1) | Benjamin Fox
    French President François Hollande faced his first serious public backlash after up to 50,000 lined the streets of Paris on Sunday (30 September) in protest against his €37 billion austerity budget. Organizers of the event, which brought together around 60 left-wing groups, claimed that 50,000 protesters took to the streets to denounce the cuts program. "Today is the day the French people launch a movement against the politics of austerity," said the Front de Gauche president, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who finished fourth in the Presidential elections. …
  • The Swedish Model: Government Austerity. They are the exact opposite of a "socialist success story"

    10/01/2012 5:07:01 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 3 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 10/01/2012 | Randall Hoven
    Sweden, like Norway, is often held up as a country which is "socialist and successful." For example, Sweden has high taxes yet also has had healthy economic growth recently. In this century so far, Sweden's total tax bite amounted to 52% of GDP, while the U.S.'s was 32%. Yet Sweden's real GDP grew 2.3% per year from 2001 to 2011, and ours grew only 1.6% per year. Prima facie evidence that high taxes don't kill an economy, right? In July I deconstructed the Norwegian "Miracle," the other "socialist and successful" country. It's Sweden's turn now. Sweden, like Norway, consists of...