Saturday, May 8, 2010

Welcome to the Party, boys!

Reading the Times editorial "Greece's Lessons for Us", you'd a thunk that they were regular readers of BwD. Listen to some of this stuff:

Greece's financial crisis recalls the folly of American home buyers who took out subprime loans to buy houses they couldn't afford, only to be stuck with a crushing debt when the real estate market collapsed. Thanks to a $146-billion bailout from other European countries and the International Monetary Fund, Greece won't be defaulting — at least not right away. But the aid package may just be the first in a series to bring the Eurozone back to financial health. And although the details differ, the outlines of Greece's woes are troublingly familiar.

Whether or not a series of bailouts will bring the Eurozone back to health is dubious but that first part about American homebuyers taking out subprime loans they couldn't afford? Double-checking to see if this really is our beloved L.A. Times.

Greece dug itself into a deep hole over the past decade, abetted by low interest rates and willing lenders. The government provided jobs and generous pensions to about one-quarter of the workforce, sacrificing productivity for social stability. After a recession sent the country's deficit soaring, lenders started to balk at the government's demand for credit, pushing Greece toward default.

We hardly knew ye.

The U.S. budget deficit and debt aren't up to Athenian levels. But like Greece, the U.S. government has committed to providing benefits that it cannot afford over the long term. Policymakers have seen the problems in Social Security and Medicare coming for years, but Congress has done little about them. If anything, lawmakers made the task more difficult with this year's healthcare reform law, which trimmed Medicare spending but dedicated the savings to a new healthcare insurance program for the working class.

Article finishes off with a screed about unsustainable public employee union pensions and some rantings about revenue not matching out-of-control spending.

We sincerely wish there was some gracious way the Times could walk back what could rightly be construed as an unseemly association with the unwashed mob but as you have just read, the West's paper of record has let the horse out of the barn and must now suffer the charges of "un-patriotic", "un-civil" and, of course, "racist" along with the rest of us.

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