As Athens burns…

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The greatest challenge facing America and the world at large is not a nuclear bomb from Iran but the looming financial crisis currently crippling the democratic nations of the Western World. I say this is a bigger threat because in order to keep Iran at bay and Ahmadinejad’s finger off the red button, we, the western democratic world, must be able to financially support and defend ourselves.

Greece has become a nation of riots as that country’s leaders attempt to slice and dice the budget until their creditors, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and ratings agencies are content with the future financial outlook. In the meantime, the people of Greece are seeing their services cut drastically and pension plans being poached.

Yesterday, Standard & Poors, the credit rating agency, cut or threatened to cut the ratings of several European countries because of the lingering recession and sovereign debt obligations being carried by the countries of Europe. We’ve heard of the European crisis now for nearly two years, and it seems that every “solution” is merely a Band-Aid until further notice. The budgets aren’t being balanced – only leveraged. The economies aren’t being fixed – only subsidized. The leaders and people of Europe aren’t making long-lasting changes in their spending and saving practices – only robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The entire European region is teetering on the fiscal cliff like a drunk trying to walk a straight line. Waging a war right now would be a burden likely to break the banks of many European nations, and a major effort to maintain the shipping channel responsible for 20 percent of the world’s oil, the Strait of Hormuz, would divert much needed domestic resources to a volatile region of the world.

And then there is America. The President’s most recent budget calls for $1.3 TRILLION in DEBT, and we are cutting the Department of Defense in order to attempt to balance the budget. I would argue that this doesn’t make America safer. I said earlier that the financial strength of our nations is a bigger threat to the world than Iran’s nuclear bomb because the democratic nations of the world, if financially sound, could rally together to keep Iran at bay or destroy its nuclear infrastructure.

However, if Iran blocks the Strait of Hormuz, Europe continues to slide down the slippery slope of debt, and China decides they would rather support Iran than loan Europe and America any more funds we would be faced with a perfect storm of problems. Demand fiscal responsibility from our leaders because a financially sound western world is a strong western world.

The last bite…

Courtney recently performed with the “Victory Belles” at the Southeast War Veterans Home in Reserve and brought a plate of jambalaya home. I eat at a lot of nice places and have tried the fanciest of meals but there is something special about a locally cooked, Cajun style jambalaya from the River Parishes. It had spice, locally made sausage, and the rice was cooked perfectly. I’ve eaten lots of jambalaya in my political career but this was one of the best! I give a cast-iron cooked jambalaya 5 (out of 5) crumbs!

Buddy Boe, a resident of Garyville, owns a public relations and program management company and is well known on the local political (and food) scenes. His column appears Wednesdays in L’Observateur.