(WALL STREET JOURNAL)
By Holman W. Jenkins Jr
To call Greece First World may be a stretch, but Greece has defaulted once already, and it is only a matter of time until Greece defaults again. Welcome to default-o-rama, the next chapter in the First World’s struggle for fiscal sustainability.
Japan is piling up debt in the manner of a nation beyond hope. France, Belgium, Spain and Italy are defaults waiting to happen unless Europe can somehow generate the kind of growth that has eluded it for decades.
America’s fiscal cliff is an artificial crisis. We have no trouble borrowing in the short term. But at some point the market will demand evidence that long-term balance is being restored. President Obama said in his first post-election press conference that he doesn’t want any proposals that “sock it to the middle class.” He knows better. A long-term socking is exactly what’s coming to the middle class, which must pay for the benefits it consumes.