Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

25 June 2010

Debt and Deficits in the Socialist Republic of France

France, under Nicholas Sarkozy, has a budget deficit of 8% of GDP this year.  This is second only to that of Greece in Europe, according to The Economist in the text of an article in the issue of 19 - 25 June 2010.  Unfortunately, a graph accompanying the article indicates that Spain has a deficit of just under 10% of GDP.  Uhmmm....they can't get everything right, after all, The Economist endorsed Obama in the election of 2008, is a stout defender of catastrophic man-made global warming, and loves cap and trade legislation!  It always pays to read things critically and carefully.

France's public debt is 84% of GDP.  Despite the recent surge in U.S. public debt, our public debt is currently 57% of GDP.  It is not expected to be long before our debt is as bad as that of France.  But the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is so worried about our debt that he is complaining about it, as is the Tea Party movement.  We are likely to make some substantial decreases in spending when the new Congress starts in January 2011.  The French do not seem to have the will to make substantial reductions in spending.  It starts with Sarkozy.

France is making some minor cuts.  It has raised the retirement age from 60 now to 62 in 2018.  The state pension fund shortfall in 2020 will be the equivalent of $55 billion.  It expects to save less than half that amount with the increase in the retirement age.  The top income tax rate is being raised from 40% to 41% in 2011.  In 2020, civil servants will have to contribute 10.5% of pay to their pension fund, rather than the present 8.1%.  France hopes growth will be vigorous and that will spur additional tax revenues.  Most observers believe the needed growth goal will not be reached.  Euro-rules require France to reduce its deficit all the way down to 3% of GDP by 2013. 

One of the factors making spending cuts hard and hurting growth is the fact that 20% of France's employees work for the government.  France is currently spending 56% of GDP, which is more than any other Euro-zone country.  Moody's has warned that France's rising debt may endanger its AAA credit rating.  Of course, Obama wants to duplicate these factors in the U.S.  How idiocentric is that?


Anonymous said...

Many countries around the world claim to be a republic. For example, People's Republic of China, Italian Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, French Republic, Republic of South Africa. However, it takes more than just a name. Do not assume just because a country claims to be a republic that it is a republic. Countries that use the word republic in their title may operate differently. You must dig deeper. We suggest looking at that particular country’s constitution and hunt for the terms republican or democratic. If the country claims itself to be republican, then it is a republic. If the country claims itself to be democratic, then it is a democracy. Do not be fooled by the title of a country, you must look at its constitution to see what type of form of government is established. Lastly, there are countries that claim to be “democratic republic.” Which is it? A republic, or a democracy? Democratic Republic is an oxymoron thus, if a country claims this, then it is a democracy for the reason that the term “democratic” pertains to a democracy, or favoring democracy.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

I agree with you. Thanks for the comment.