Around The World With Lloyd Dangle: How The European Debt Crisis Is Like Grease Through A Goose
(Paris) Ah, the enchantment –– the boulevards, the catacombs, the long lines of tourists, the little dogs and the charming messes they leave on the pavement. I'm here in The City of Light wearing my red-white-and-blue monster truck cap with the words "American Debt Crisis Observer" embroidered on it. In the sidewalk cafes I notice the French people shying away from me, due, obviously, to their deep embarrassment over the crisis and their inability to speak perfect English. I assure them that even though I'm visiting from the country most loved by God I'm not here to pass judgement.
French people generally agree that the Greeks are irresponsible mouth-breathers who don't like to work but love to spend the money they borrowed recklessly from well-intentioned banks (just like Floridians). So they deserve to have their minimum wage cut by 20%, their government workers fired by the thousands, their pensions raided, their small businesses bankrupted, and their suicide rate up 40%. Take that, lazy souvlaki eaters! Welcome to what we call the lesson of Wisconsin.
To understand the European debt crisis, you only have to look at the way the French make their famous foie gras. First you take a goose (sovereign government) and feed it rich food (cheap money) until it gets sick and bloated with cirrhosis of the liver (debt) and the farmer (the European Union) has to slaughter it (destroy its middle class with austerity measures). The fatty foie gras of course goes to the bankers in the form of bonuses and the rest of the stinking carcass lies around for three years with nobody willing to take responsibility for it.
Up until Thursday when Europeans met for their 19th summit to discuss solutions to the debt crisis (the first eighteen were dickless hand-wringing exercises) it looked like the EU was going to crumble and explode like goat cheese in the July sun. The pasty, big-boned villain, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, had one foot on the brake pedal and the other ready to shove up the asses of the Spaniards and Italians the way she did to the Greeks.
But the other European leaders were queasy with Merkel's brutal austerity measures. At the G20 summit last week in Los Cabos San Lucas (jello shots, comically oversized sombreros, taxidermied frogs) everybody was all up in Merkel's face, saying, c'mon, throw some more of your money at the problem (a trillion isn't enough). Why so stingy? Where's the socialism? President Obama weighed in with pressure of his own, knowing that if the recession in the US gets any worse there will be Mormon underwear hanging on the White House clothesline this time next year.
It must've worked. After meeting for thirteen hours the leaders defied expectations and came up with something that should've been obvious from the start –– they decided to be more like the United States. Now they're going to use their 800 billion euros ($1 trillion) to bail out the banks directly instead of bailing out the countries that host them, which is smart because banks can always be trusted to do what's right for our fiscal well-being. Congratulations Europe! You're on the right track now.
Well, with the debt crisis momentarily under control my work is done here. Tonight I will eat snails, enjoy the sights of the pretty French girls on bicycles, drink several bottles of wine, and pass out on the bank of the Seine. I hope the credit limit is clean on my Wonkette expense account because tomorrow it's on to Zurich to see where Mitt Romney's money lives.
And FYI, Dangle is my real name you bastards, every time you make fun of it you just make me stronger.