NPR's Mara Liasson on Thursday made a truly astonishing and frightening comment: the crisis in Greece, with the government slashing spending and raising taxes in such a fashion that people are rioting in the streets, could happen in America.
"Greece, whose debt is now I think 115 percent of GDP, ours is about 84 now, and they had to impose some tough austerity measures which means tax hikes and spending cuts, and the people of Greece as you can see didn't like it one bit and rioted," Liasson said on Thursday's "Special Report" on Fox News.
"This in a much more horrific way, much bigger way, is our problem," she continued.
"We have unsustainable deficits that are going to have to be cured with something similar" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
MARA LIASSON, NPR: Greece, whose debt is now I think 115 percent of GDP, ours is about 84 now, and they had to impose some tough austerity measures which means tax hikes and spending cuts, and the people of Greece as you can see didn't like it one bit and rioted. And, you know, this is something that could spread, the kind of debt contagious, contagion, could spread to Spain, Portugal, you know, Ireland. It's scary, and there's a couple of things about it. Number one, the U.S. is concerned that it could have a spillover effect to us. But also, I mean, this in a much more horrific way, much bigger way, is our problem. We have unsustainable deficits that are going to have to be cured with something similar. Maybe not as draconian, budget cuts, cuts in spending, and maybe some kind of tax hikes. And I'm not saying Americans are going to be going into the streets and throwing Molotov cocktails.
The Weekly Standard's Steve Hayes immediately said, "They might, they might. Just wait."
Hayes then made an observation furthering Liasson's point:
STEVE HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: There was a report in the New York Times over the weekend that was widely overlooked in part because I think the significant detail of it was buried. But the report said that in, in, as part of these austerity rules that Greece had agreed to in order to get this bailout from the IMF and from, from Europe, one of the things that they had to do was move to privatize their healthcare system. It was too statist, their healthcare system. So at the time that the IMF and others are demanding that Greece move to, to privatize or at least spin-off part of its state-run healthcare system in order to make it more efficient, liberalize the economy, we're moving in the opposite direction. I mean, there's a great irony there that I think adds to Mara's point.
Here's the article Hayes was referencing to:
Another reform high on the list is removing the state from the marketplace in crucial sectors like health care, transportation and energy and allowing private investment. Economists say that the liberalization of trucking routes - where a trucking license can cost up to $90,000 - and the health care industry would help bring down prices in these areas, which are among the highest in Europe.
Imagine that: removing the state from healthcare would help bring down healthcare prices.
Didn't Obama, the Democrats, and their media minions tell us for months that government involvement in healthcare would bring down prices?
Now, just weeks after ObamaCare passes, the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund are only willing to loan Greece money if it cuts costs by privatizing some of its healthcare system.
As Hayes said, the irony here is truly astounding.