It now looks like Germany, to some degree, is choosing to go down the same road.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives suffered a crushing defeat on Sunday in an election in Germany's most populous state, a result which could embolden the left opposition to step up its criticism of her European austerity policies.Laws of economics are as unyielding as the laws of physics. Yet, Europe is moving toward a frame of mind that says the way to defeat gravity is to jump off a cliff.
The election in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), a western German state with a bigger population than the Netherlands and an economy the size of Turkey, was held 18 months before a national election in which Merkel is expected to fight for a third term.
She remains popular in Germany for her steady handling of the euro zone debt crisis, but the sheer scale of her party's defeat leaves her vulnerable at a time when a backlash against her insistence on fiscal discipline is building across Europe.
According to first projections, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) won 38.8 percent of the vote and will have enough to form a stable majority with the Greens, who scored 12.2 percent.
You just can't fix stupid.
Ben Barrack is a talk show host and author of the upcoming book, Unsung Davids