Krauthammer On France And Austerity: You Can't Vote Against Mathematics
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think the general interpretation is correct. This is revolt of the people in Europe who don't have a lot of say when the E.U. is doing business. against austerity, which has been decreed by the Germans and the French leadership. As response to the crisis in Greece and elsewhere.
The problem is this. It did bring down the government. Austerity brought down the government in Portugal, in Italy, in Ireland, in Spain and in Greece. But you can vote to change leadership on austerity but you can't vote against mathematics. Hollande is a socialist. He says he wants not austerity, he wants growth. That's a way of saying tax and spend.
He wants to reduce the number of cuts in spending. He wants to tax the rich, those that make over a million Euros a year at rate of over 75%. I guarantee you that the treasury in Paris will get less net revenue as the rich leave. The rich are able to move a lot easier than the poor, as happened in other countries.
The problem is that in the end, if he does all of that he says he's going to do; increase the taxes, and not do the cuts, the markets will squeeze the French the way they squeezed the Greeks, the Spaniard and the Portuguese. You can vote to have a new government but you can't have a new economy unless you do your cuts and you balance your budgets. Which he doesn't want to do obviously.