Wayne Root: Are You Ready to Bail Out a Continent?

As published in the Washington Times.

It was bad enough that the U.S. government risked trillions of taxpayer dollars bailing out banks, car companies, insurance companies, Wall Street firms, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We’ve even bailed out foreign banks and foreign countries (Greece). But have you ever considered bailing out a continent?

Are Americans asleep at the switch? Did anyone notice that Europe’s financial crisis went from frightening to unimaginable last week? Does anyone know the security color code for “unimaginable?” Perhaps the color of choice should be black to represent a deep, black hole. Besides, black is the color of mourning.

How bad are things in Europe? First, it’s time to say your last goodbyes to Greece. The nation “formerly known as Greece” reports 22 percent unemployment, 54 percent unemployment among citizens under age 25, and 42 percent higher unemployment than a year ago. But here’s the big clincher: There are now only 4 million Greeks still employed to pay off hundreds of billions in European Union bailouts and its approaching 200 percent debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio. And more of them are leaving for Germany every day as they realize that life is over for them in Greece.

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