“In a bold gambit to tackle its record debt, the British government detailed sweeping spending cuts Wednesday that will hit everyone from welfare recipients to the Queen, positioning the U.K. as a global test case in the argument for choosing austerity over stimulus to repair the economy.” Alistair MacDonald and Jon Hilsenrath, ‘U.K. Embraces Austerity’, The Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2010
“The new Conservative-led coalition headed by Prime Minister David Cameron announced cuts deeper than the ones made by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, outlining a plan to eliminate half a million government jobs, slash welfare benefits and reduce $131 billion worth of other public spending on everything from fighter jets to social security to the arts by 2015.” Anthony Faiola, ‘Britain moves to slash deficit’, The Washington Post, October 21, 2010
The British government will impose a 19 percent reduction in overall government spending over a period of four years. These cuts will take place during the currency of this British Parliament, in which the coalition government has a comfortable working majority. In so doing, public spending in Britain will be reined in from 48 percent to 40 percent of gross domestic product and the overall budget will move approximately into balance by 2014.
October 20, 2010, therefore signals the political will in Britain to bring the era of progressivism to an abrupt end, and to restore the foundations for the re-emergence of a properly-functioning capitalist system. The writing is clearly on the wall for the United States.
David Cameron effectively is pointing a sharpened dagger at the very heart of the Obama administration. If his policy succeeds in triggering a new British market miracle, President Obama and his fellow Democratic progressives are dead meat in the United States. As they move into early retirement, let us hope that they are prepared to enjoy the bitter fruits of the President’s legacy to the Medicare program.
In the meantime, the debt-ridden U.S. economy faces a real prospect of being left gasping in the economic dust by a country whose political system is sufficiently flexible as to adjust quickly to changing economic conditions, and to wield the butcher’s knife on the obese flesh of a bloated public sector…and whose electorate, albeit by a whisker, had the courage to vote for strong medicine to cure its insatiable appetite for an ultimately illusionary free lunch.