Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Socrates on the PIIGS Crisis

NyPo reports:
Portugal's Socialist prime minister, Jose Socrates -- named after the Greek philosopher who espoused, "He is richest who is content with the least"-- unveiled his own version of sacrifices yesterday.

Facing runaway spending and drowning in red ink, Portugal said it would slash welfare, sell some assets, hike taxes on the wealthy and cut military spending by 40 percent, as well as shelve a high-speed rail line to Spain. The austerity plan came just two days ahead of Lisbon's plan to raise $1.02 billion by selling new government bonds to shore up its balance sheet...

In Portugal, Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos said the measures would repair its record deficit of 9.3 percent of its gross domestic product. Portugal's red ink is about triple what the EU normally tolerates among its 16 member nations...

Portugal's public debt is more than 85 percent of its entire economy's output.

Government officials said Portugal intends to levy a 45 percent tax on those earning more than $205,000, and will freeze pay for civil service workers and cut replacement hiring by half.


  1. Shelve the high speed rail line, now why would they do that? That thing's a money-maker, isn't it? I mean, isn't our government working on building one because it will result in the kind of economic development we need to enter the 21st century?

  2. I laughed at the high speed rail thing. These idiots can't even adhere to their own stupid theories about Keynsian multipliers and other crap like that.