Rivers of Hope

The enforced austerity of the eurozone crisis has roused surprising public anger. European governments are falling. The US need not follow this path if Washington finds a consensus over fiscal issues like ‘the sequester.’

Americans, who face enforced austerity with the March 1 “sequester” of the federal budget, need only look across the Atlantic to see how they should not react to such spending cuts.

Europe is four years into its debt crisis, and last year it had appeared to be muddling through. But recent political instability in a few EU countries reveals a surprising level of public fear over dire economic conditions as well as anger toward elected leaders.

The results of Italy’s Feb. 24-25 election were the most telling. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the austerity policies of Prime Minister Mario Monti. But no one party received a winning endorsement, creating enough political instability to rattle markets and political confidence…

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