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.


US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.


Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.


After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.


'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.


Review: 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For'…

The belated sequel "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" makes one question whether the first one may have been not so hot. Still, Eva Green vamping!


'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Going Out

5 things to do in NYC this weekend…

FILM Lebowski Fest Aug. 22-23, 8 p.m. Various locations, Manhattan $20-$30, The Dude abides — for 48 hours to celebrate the 1998 Coen brothers classic.…


'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…


Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.


Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.


2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)


2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…


Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…


Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…