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Too good to be true? - Tom Purcell

"The Democrats were just getting warmed up, but I knew it was too good to be true."

"Ah, yes, you speak of the negative reaction to the aggressive government expansion and spending that President Obama and the Democrats gave us."

"That's right. I was hoping America would embrace more of the cushy policies many European countries enjoy."

"Such as the 'free' health care the Democrats passed into law? Every day, some new, excessive cost is revealed, proving that humorist P.J. O'Rourke was right when he said, 'If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it is free.'"

"But I was looking forward to a bigger government with more government jobs protected by big unions."

"I hate to break it to you, but much of Europe has no choice but to slash costs. According to USA Today, the United Kingdom is cutting spending by 20 percent -- it will eliminate nearly 500,000 government jobs by 2015."

"Well, at least if you get canned in Europe, the benefits are generous."

"The UK now limits unemployment benefits to 12 months -- whereas some in the U.S. have been collecting unemployment for up to two years!"

"If it weren't for President Obama's stimulus dough and unemployment extensions, things would be plenty worse here!"

"Tell that to the Germans. Germany responded to the global downturn the exact opposite way we did. The Germans reined in unnecessary spending. Their economy is booming. Their unemployment rate is down to 7.5 percent and falling."

"Perhaps, but I prefer the French approach. The French government makes it almost impossible to fire employees."

"Which is why private French companies avoid HIRING employees. The unemployment rate in France is at 10 percent -- strikingly close to our own. Nearly 25 percent of young French people can't find work."

"I don't care what you say, I want America to be more like France. Many work for the government there. They retire at 60, and if anyone messes with their benefits, thousands protest and riot in the streets."

"You have that right. France is trying to raise the retirement age to 62 -- because its retirement fund is broke. So, like spoiled children, union workers and other protesters are doing all they can to shut down the economy."

"Well, I'd rather have people protesting in support of my government benefits than people protesting against government spending, as many do in America."

"You raise an interesting contrast. Those countries in which people protest like spoiled children -- protest for their own personal gain -- are the same countries that have low growth and a worrisome future. Many who protest here are trying to restrain a government run amok so that their children and grandchildren can know hope and prosperity in the future!"

"Ah, come on. We need the government to spread some wealth around."

"But we're broke. Even before the wasteful stimulus spending -- even before the costly mess of a health-care plan -- we had looming bills that will be hard to pay. USA Today says Social Security is in the red THIS year. The only hope we have of meeting our enormous obligations is massive economic growth. We cannot achieve massive growth until we scale back the government dead weight and uncertainty that are thwarting it."

"Ah, nuts. Democrats got us so close to living in a European-style nirvana right here in America. I knew it was too good to be true!"

"You better hope we get our government programs and spending under control BEFORE it comes true."

Tom Purcell is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. E-mail Tom at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.