As if to demonstrate how much of a leftist he really is, Gerry Connolly decided to show his support for the French Socialist Party by tweeting “Hollande’s defeat of Sarkozy in France a warning to those advocating austerity over economic stimulus.”
Connolly is truly gifted at obscuring the truth, but let’s consider the facts. The French budget has hardly been austere, in either real or relative terms. In real terms, one need only compare France to any developing country to quickly dispel the notion. Even in relative terms, it is hardly an austere budget.
In 2011, Sarkozy’s government provided an economic stimulus (i.e., deficit) amounting to 5.2% of France’s GDP; by comparison, any economic stimulus above 3% is generally considered unsustainable. Thus, the choice was not one between austerity and economic stimulus, but rather between unsustainable economic stimulus (incumbent center-right official Sarkozy) and even more irresponsible unsustainable economic stimulus (Hollande). Unfortunately, France chose the latter and will suffer the consequences.
More disturbingly, Connolly’s tweet highlights his total lack of leadership on our own debt crisis. Our national debt now exceeds 103% of our GDP and is growing by about 4% per year. Economies typically become unstable at 120% debt loads; thus, at the current rate, we have about 4 years before we reach the tipping point. But rather than proposing solutions to this problem, Connolly continues to advocate spending even more taxpayer money on federal stimulus in his effort to pander to the voters. In fact, he has said: “Government programs, government investments have constituencies, whether in Europe or North America, and you ignore [them] at your own peril.” Clearly, he is more interested in his re-election than in the welfare of the country.
And my primary opponent is hardly any better. He refuses to discuss the issue in any forum and fails to provide any real suggestions on his website for cutting federal spending.
I realize that it is more difficult to run on a platform of fiscal responsibility, but we have a choice between living within our means or stealing the future from our children. I believe we have a moral obligation to eliminate the debt. This is why I entered the race; I knew it would not be easy, but I refuse to stand by as our politicians sell off our country and our future. We must change course.
As an eternal optimist, I believe Americans are an ethical people, and given the right leadership, we will unite to overcome our addiction to deficit spending. However, my optimism is tempered by also being a realist; I know that there are many, like my opponents, who have lost their way and do not realize the destructive side-effects of their actions. If we are to change course, I will need your help.