We're not the only folks having trouble this week.
Greece and the wider eurozone scrambled back from the brink of disaster again yesterday as the outline of an IMF/eurozone rescue package emerged.
The Greek prime minister, George Papandreou, told his nation's parliament that it must accept the main condition of the emergency loans – which would mean a further €24bn (£20.8bn) austerity package of tax rises and reductions in public spending. The spectre of a Greek default has retreated, if only temporarily.
Mr Papandreou told Greek MPs: "The measures we must take, which are economic measures, are necessary for the protection of our country. For our survival, for our future. So we can stand firmly on our feet. It is a patriotic duty to undertake this, with whatever political cost, which is tiny faced with the national cost of inaction and indecision."
Apparently "savage cuts" equals "a national strike and mass riots."
Hundreds of youths rioted in Athens on Saturday, throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at police who responded with tear gas at a May Day rally against austerity measures being enacted by the cash-strapped government to secure foreign loans to stave off bankruptcy.Police made at least nine arrests, including six people suspected of looting a shop. Seven officers were injured along with two demonstrators.
The uniforms of several riot police officers were set ablaze by firebombs. One of the policemen hopped over a metal railing as other officers stood over him extinguishing the flames. A state television van was set on fire and badly damaged.
Responding to calls from the country's two main labor unions, several thousand people marched in major Greek cities Saturday against the anticipated spending cuts and consumer tax hikes.
And it's only going to get worse out there. Meanwhile, on this side of pond as our environment falls apart and our infrastructure crumbles, the calls is growing for our own austerity measures. Naturally the folks leading that charge are the comfortably wealthy. But the crusade to "cut the deficit by any means necessary" is on, and it's going to remain the real centerpiece of the rest of Obama's administration. As soon as a Republican gets into the Oval Office, it'll mysteriously vanish, of course.
Suckering Obama into being the President that tanked Social Security and Medicare is turning out to be remarkably easy.
The co-chairman of President Barack Obama's deficit reduction commission said Tuesday that Obama would endorse its findings, including politically toxic tax increases and painful cuts to retirement benefits that the president was unwilling to propose on his own.
Even more than health care reform, Obama's real legacy may be his deficit panel. Keep an eye on that phrase "austerity measures". They're coming, and Obama seems bound and determined to be the guy who's going to put them in place. And as soon as he gets kicked out of office for them, the Republicans will turn the spigot back on...for their friends in high places. The deficit won't get touched, of course. But spending...well good luck on getting any of that back under GOP rule.
Still don't know why Obama's falling for this Lucy and the Football play again. But this time, the Serious Bipartisan Village Centrists are trying to put him down in the same category as Hoover and Nixon. Republicans have been trying to shake the bad guy label for decades. Obama's about to hand them the key.