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Apr 29

Debts and Deficits: Warnings and Lessons from Europe for the Next U.S. President

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As the debate over America’s debt burden intensifies, Europe’s social and economic problems provide a warning to the United States. For over a decade, continental Europe has witnessed political and economic decline, culminating in a sovereign debt crisis which has brought the single European currency to its knees. Portugal is but the latest Eurozone country seeking a multi-billion dollar bailout from the international financial community – despite the fact that it will solve few of their problems. Greece and Ireland have both been bailed out, but still face the possibility of a sovereign default as they continue to struggle with a lack of growth and low levels of competitiveness. What are the lessons from Europe on where the spiraling debt crisis will end?

Unlike many of its continental partners, the new Conservative-led Government in Britain has chosen instead to swallow the bitter pills of austerity cuts and deficit reduction. The Conservative-led coalition has pledged to eliminate Britain’s structural deficit by 2015, as well as to cut 490,000 public sector jobs. Sweden, which is also outside the Eurozone, has successfully steered its economy through this crisis. Having learned valuable lessons in the 1990s, Sweden’s center-right government has chosen to incentivize work and maintain budget discipline, which has led to economic growth of 4.5 percent in 2010.

Join us in an analysis of these different European approaches and what lessons they can offer America’s next presidential candidates.

More About the Speakers

Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow, Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, The Heritage Foundation

J.D. Foster, Ph.D.
Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Mats Persson
Director, Open Europe

Hosted By

Sally McNamara Sally McNamara

Senior Policy Analyst, European Affairs Read More