Metropolitik: US going like Europe

“Hey girl, you don’t really need to feed your kids this week, do you?” (What we 
imagine Paul Ryan saying.)

During a week in which the austerity policies of the Euro Zone were dealt clear electoral repudiations, Republicans have moved forward with plans to impose their own brand of austerity here in the United States.

France, Greece and Germany saw pro-austerity leaders lose elections this weekend following months of economic misery fed by the spreading contagion of anti-spending policy. In two years, these cuts only yielded more pain, taking money from the pockets of workers and thus deepening recessions.
That fever has caught here in the States, too, at least among the right wing, but has been largely held at bay by the Democrat president. (We say “largely” because Obama did bow to Republican pressure to cut public sector payrolls and limit stimulus packaging, thus, Keynesian economists say, prolonging the current recession.)

Now House Republicans are proposing to cut hundreds of billions in food aid, health care and other social services mainly aimed at the poor as a means of sidestepping the consequences of their failure to deal. This proposal represents an abandonment of last year’s unsuccessful deficit-reduction deal, in which the parties attempted to force themselves into cooperation by creating the super committee. That plan came with a built-in incentive to reach a deal: Sequestration, mandated cuts in the absence of compromise that neither party could stomach. In this case, Republicans are attempting to undo their half of the bad deal, $1.2 trillion in Pentagon cuts over the next decade.

Of course, it’s all a game. Obama won’t sign whatever awful bill the GOP produces, and they know it. Yet it’s interesting to see the extent to which Republicans are willing to double- and quadruple-down on austerity. They must believe this to be a winning battle in November. For what it’s worth, Europeans thought otherwise, but then, they lived through the disasterous consequences. Whether we must do the same has yet to be determined.

Follow Brayden Simms on Twitter @metropolitik

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.