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More like supra-national interests. All but two of the EU bloc’s 27 leaders (Britain and the Czech Republic were the holdouts) signed on to the latest fiscal compact, aka the “Treaty on Stability Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union,” which requires member states to enact a “Balanced Budget Rule into national legal systems through binding and permanent provisions, preferably constitutional… subject to the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union.” Furthermore, any nation found to be in breach of budget targets can be subject to “a lump sum or a penalty payment appropriate in the circumstances and that shall not exceed 0.1 % of its gross domestic product… payable to the European Stability Mechanism,” or, in some cases “the general budget of the European Union.” The pact must be ratified by a minimum of 12 EU states to take effect.
Despite this effort, the commission remained non-committal regarding Spain, noting that it could not render a decision until it got more information regarding why the country will miss its deficit targets, and until it has seen Spain’s latest budget proposals. Moreover, Spain is not the only problem on the horizon. Despite championing the need for the kind of fiscal discipline outlined in the current treaty, the Netherlands predicted a budget gap of 4.5 percent for 2013, which is 50 percent greater than the 3 percent limit set out in the latest treaty.
Thus, the notion expressed by many European leaders that the EU debt crisis has largely abated remains a pipe dream. Despite the nearly $1.3 trillion of funds injected by the European Central Bank (ECB) into Euro zone banks in recent months, a Greek-style meltdown of Spain, the EU’s fourth largest economy, would required more money than that total to stay afloat. And despite all the happy talk regarding Greece, the $173 billion bailout deal for that nation has yet to be finalized.
And so it goes. The most obviously predictable fiscal train-wreck in the world continues on, seemingly unabated by trillions of dollars of Keynesian-inspired “stimulus” spending whose proponents insist is the only way out of the current crisis, even as they insist that austerity programs are anathema to recovery. They are half-right, yet it is precisely that half-rightness that reveals the insidious nature of socialism: it is the expansion of the state, and the overwhelming number of people thoroughly accustomed to the dependency mindset, that has destroyed the kind of entrepreneurial spirit among those who desperately need private enterprise growth to rescue them. This spiritual debasement, courtesy of state-sponsored self-entitlement, is the dark underbelly of an ideology that can only survive until it runs out of other people’s money to spend. How do those “other people” acquire that money?
By utterly rejecting the socialist ideology that disdains the accumulation of wealth–even as the socialists demand a “fair share” of such wealth to continue underwriting their ideological–and fiscal–bankruptcy.
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