Americans Work So Greeks Can Retire Early?
Greek rioters got their way. Now your children may pay for their early retirements.
Greece's socialist policies provided generous benefits, but coddled an entire population that now expects everyone else to pay for their leisurely ways. The average retirement age in Greece is 61. Some professions, like hairdressers and pastry chefs, can retire as early as 50.
As the bills came due and the government attempted to reign in outlandish spending on benefits, workers rioted and European leaders buckled, providing a bailout for Greece's debts.
The timing of Greece's crisis is almost eerie for Americans. It's as if God is providing a stark example of where we are headed if President Obama and his congressional allies continue their reckless spending and ever-expanding takeover of private industries.
Many Americans already get it, but liberal politicians — whose spending sprees will make indentured servants of future generations — still don't. Another "stimulus" bill is in the works, proof in itself that the previous stimulus spending didn't work.
Undoubtedly, Obama's Congress will keep churning out new reasons to keep the Tea Parties alive.
Remember what mobilized the Tea Parties? It is officially known as CNBC's Rick Santelli's rant. On the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, Santelli railed against Barack Obama's mortgage bailout plan.
"The government is promoting bad behavior!" he yelled. "This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills?"
One year later, the Tea Party movement is more popular than Democrats and Republicans. People are fed up with government bailouts for bad decisions.
Imagine how angry they'll be when they find out we may pay to bail out Greece.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) pledged $40 billion as part of the $110 billion European rescue package. And this likely won't be the last. Greece's debt obligations are so massive that, even with restructuring, they still face default in the coming years.
What does that have to do with American taxpayers? At 17 percent, the U.S. is the largest contributor to the IMF. That means we're on the hook for $6.8 billion of that $40 billion.
And this is just the beginning. Portugal, Italy, and Spain are not far behind Greece. This could mean an additional $1 trillion bailout for Europe — and the U.S. could end up paying $50 billion for their bad behavior.
Why are European countries bailing each other out? They joined the European Union, initially created to be an economic alliance to — get this — compete with the U.S.
So Americans are not only paying for Europe's early retirements, long vacations, and socialist health care systems. To add insult to injury, Americans will be forced to bail out our self-proclaimed competitors.
That first loan guarantee for Greece is a done deal. But we can stop future ones.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) have introduced the European Bailout Protection Act. It will help Greece and other European countries to act responsibly by not letting American workers be their safety net for bad behavior.
It bars any funds not yet drawn by the IMF from being spent to finance any European Union (EU) countries until all EU countries are in compliance with debt standards. And it requires the U.S. Treasury Secretary to oppose any IMF loans to EU countries until all are in compliance. It doesn't prohibit IMF funding of European countries, only that U.S. funds cannot be used for loans.
A similar amendment introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and David Vitter (R-Louisiana) would prevent U.S. bailouts of dysfunctional foreign nations. Added to a financial reform bill, it would require the current administration to certify that a bailout loan to a foreign government will be repaid and to oppose an IMF bailout if it cannot be repaid. It passed 94-0.
In effect, these efforts attempt to ensure that America does not revert to being a de facto European colony, with American workers forced to pay Europeans' debt.
Wendy Wright is President of Concerned Women for America, the nation's largest public policy women's organization.
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