Posts Tagged ‘Greek Bailout’
May 10th, 2010 at 1:44 pm
Fannie, Freddie, Obamanomics & Greece: Still Not Noticing the Parallels?
Posted by Print

Two weeks ago, in a commentary entitled Obama’s Big Fat Greek Bailout, we noted the alarming parallels between Greece’s meltdown and America’s trajectory.  Following years of unsustainable welfare-state spending, Greece’s deficit stands at 13% of gross domestic product (GDP), and its cumulative debt stands at 110% of GDP.  Unfortunately, America isn’t far off, with a deficit approaching 11% of GDP and cumulative debt under Obama heading toward 90% of GDP.

Well, other observers are beginning to draw the same parallel we did.  Robert Samuelson notes his commentary The Welfare State’s Death Spiral that “virtually every advanced nation, including the United States, faces the same prospect.”  Pat Buchanan echoes our observation in his commentary The End of La Dolce Vita:

For the nations of Europe have made commitments beyond their capacity to keep, given their growing debts and aging populations.  And America is not all that far behind.  While the federal deficit is not 14% of GDP, it was 10% in 2009 and may reach 11% in 2010.  Trillion-dollar deficits are projected through the decade, bringing the public debt – held by citizens, companies, foreign governments and sovereign wealth funds – close to 100% of GDP.  And the unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare and federal pensions rival those of Western Europe.  States like California and New York, larger than Greece, look a lot like Greece.”

And today, we wake up to the news that Fannie Mae seeks yet another $8.4 billion federal lifeline.  Fannie was originally rescued by the federal government in September 2008, but at least that bailout was capped at $400 billion.  Last year, however, the Obama Administration agreed to remove even that limit, pledging unlimited loss coverage. Fannie’s total now stands at $83.6 billion, with Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s cumulative bailout costing American taxpayers $145 billion.

But just like Greece, whose original bailout estimate of $45 billion has now risen to $1 trillion, there is no end in sight for Fannie, Freddie or the United States.  Who knows how many more bailouts will be sought by Fannie and Freddie, not to mention other dysfunctional states like California and industries dominated by unions whose bosses are on Obama’s speed dial?

Can you hear the Greek wedding music growing louder?