Grass-roots conservatives celebrated Tuesday after learning that European leaders are calling for constitutional amendments across the euro zone that would require all member nations to submit a balanced budget -- the same tea party-driven policy that President Barack Obama has disparaged as un-American.
German chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday they want all euro zone nations to enact constitutional amendments calling for a balanced budget by the summer of 2012.
Sarkozy described the balanced-budget amendment as part of a “new economic government” for Europe.
That strong response to the spreading debt contagion in the European Union leaves President Obama apparently out of step with the European nations, whose sensibilities liberals so often elevate as a model for America to emulate. It could deepen the narrative that Obama is trying to “lead from behind,” and will make it much more difficult for Democrats to continue to portray the balanced-budget amendment as extremist nonsense.
TheTeaParty.net leader Todd Cefaratti said the European move to a constitutionally mandated balanced budget shows that European policies are leading Washington, D.C.’s.
“It is embarrassing,” Cefaratti told Newsmax Tuesday evening. “It’s embarrassing that liberal, socialist Western Europe is leading the way on issues that the tea party movement was considered ‘extreme’ for even mentioning.”
The move by Merkel and Sarkozy could heighten the growing momentum for a balanced budget amendment in the United States. One week ago, TheTeaParty.net began circulating an online petition urging members of Congress to pass one. Already, 161,000 respondents have signed up to help.
“Everyone in the world is going conservative fiscally, except for the United States,” Cefaratti says. “And the tea party is being called extreme for being in line with generally very socialist or liberal fiscal countries like this. So it just shows that the United States hasn’t caught up to the rest of the world, unfortunately.”
Tea Party Express co-founder Sal Russo tells Newsmax that Europe and France are calling for a balanced budget amendment because they’re tired of bailing out other governments that have spent too much money. The objective is to still financial discipline, he says.
“France and Germany are turning to the same solution as American conservatives,” he says. “If you are financially responsible and you have not been able to control the spending of others, you have to resort to artificial means like a balanced budget requirement or a spending limit, or both.”
He adds: “The Tea Party Express has made that point repeatedly. We have to pursue lower taxes and less government regulation to foster economic growth. Without economic growth solving part of our economic woes, budget cuts alone with not get us there. Cut, Cap and Balance along with the Paul Ryan pro-growth policies is the solution for the United States.”
Ryan was unavailable for comment Tuesday night. Some sources say he is mulling over overtures from heavyweight GOP donors urging him to toss his hat in the ring for the 2012 nomination.
Ever since President Obama berated Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget in April as “not a vision of the America I know,” the nation’s economy and stock markets have tumbled. Following the contentious debate over raising the debt ceiling, S & P downgraded the U.S. credit rating to below AAA for the first time.
Russo said he holds little hope that President Obama will follow the lead of the Europeans and support an amendment requiring that the United States balance its budget.
“He has too many constituency groups that want more federal spending so won’t dare propose spending cuts, which is why he has not done it,” Russo says.
“He believes stimulus spending by the government is the answer rather than unleashing the private economy. So he foolishly continues to cripple the business community, which perpetuates are non-growing economy.”
Cefaratti says he wishes Obama would borrow a page out of Europe’s economic playbook.
“I wish Sarkozy was over here helping with our economy,” TheTeaParty.net leader says. “He makes a lot of sense on a lot of fiscal issues.”