Eugene Robinson’s May 8 column, “The chokehold of austerity,” was interesting but shortsighted. Why can’t austerity measures and growth initiatives be put in place simultaneously? Mr. Robinson seemed to suggest that it’s one or the other. In fact, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel and outgoing French President Nicolas Sarkozy agreed to austerity driven by budget cuts and adjustments to entitlements, Mr. Sarkozy was working to develop initiatives that would produce growth. He recognized that growth and austerity were both needed to pull European countries out of their economic depression.
The politics of entitlement, however, overrode any chance of intelligent change, and the result was the election of the Socialist candidate in France, who merely promised more spending and unrealistic taxes on the wealthy.