President Obama with UK PM David Cameron playing ping pong May 2011 (AP)
Could we ever expect young Americans to look to Europe for anything other than an awesome vacation?
No, but they should.
Under President Obama we’re heading for a Europe-like economy: heavy on government spending and debt, and light on youth jobs. The unemployment rate in the eurozone hit an all-time high of 11.7 percent in October, leaving nearly 19 million people jobless. But for young people the picture is much bleaker. Youth unemployment is now 23.9 percent, up from 21.1 percent just a year ago.
Why? Big government.
European countries have dug themselves so deep in debt to the point where they can't climb out. As a whole, Europe's outstanding debt is nearly $11 trillion and the percentage of the debt in terms of GDP is 91 percent. Five countries in the eurozone have debt levels that completely consume the size of their economy, with Greece topping the charts at 150 percent.
Europe's economy is swallowed up by their welfare system. Twenty-Seven percent of the EU's government expenditures are spent on social security alone, while seven percent is spent on health care and 18 percent on government employee salaries.
The eurozone also has one of the heaviest tax burdens in the world. The corporate tax rate stands at 26.1 percent, the VAT tax at 21 percent, and the income tax--the most devastating--at 43.2 percent. The eurozone has consistently risen these tax rates annually.
It is no wonder why the eurozone is devastated--no business can function or flourish properly under this heavy tax burden. Higher tax expenditures for businesses means fewer people will have jobs. When there are fewer jobs, fewer people will be paying taxes, hence why many countries in the eurozone are going under and begging for bailouts.
You think the leaders of our country would look to Europe for what not to do. Instead our political leaders are championing policies that are leading us down the same path.
America's welfare system is breeding a new generation of entitlement. Along with Social Security and Medicare--the two largest entitlement programs--America has over 80 welfare assistance programs that consume the majority of our nation's budget. The federal government spent $1.2 trillion on Social Security and Medicare and $927 billion on welfare programs in 2011. Welfare spending alone has increased 32 percent over the last four years and will only continue to grow. By 2022, $12.7 trillion is expected to be spent on welfare alone.
One-Hundred million people take advantage of at least one welfare assistance program a month. This averages around $9,000 per recipient. With the fiscal cliff approaching and taxes set to increase on America's top job creators, we can only expect higher unemployment and more people on the government's dole.
This is exactly the path that Europe has tread down, and the outcome won't be different for America.
This type of environment is only breeding a generation of entitlement. Young people are having a tough enough time trying to find jobs in this sluggish economy. Youth unemployment has averaged 17.5 percent over the last four years, and it will only continue to get worse as we continue down this path. Welfare is becoming the economic norm--it incentivizes people to live off the government, not to go out and find employment. It will also drive our nation into deeper and deeper debt, and with hiring becoming more and more expensive, there won't be taxpayers to pay it off.
This will only mean one of two things: the federal government will keep borrowing money from abroad and spending our country into an oblivion of debt, or the federal reserve will monetize our debt causing inflation to skyrocket and our savings to diminish. Is this fair to young Americans that will be forced to inherit this irresponsible mess? No. In fact, it is downright immoral.