Would Harry Truman blame Paris?

Europe is in the grip of a financial plague wiping out a generation of wealth and opportunity for millions of its citizens and threatening the world’s economies. Does anyone believe that JFK’s Treasury secretary, Douglas Dillon, would, like Tim Geithner, wave toward Europe that the solution “is in their hands”? Or that former Secretary of State Dean Acheson, the architect of NATO, would have been as screamingly silent as Hillary Clinton is now? Or that Democratic President Harry Truman, who appointed George Marshall, would blame Madrid for tanking his re-election prospects in Milwaukee? …

The big story of the past six months isn’t the debt itself but the market’s disowning of European sovereign debt. Recall in January when this newspaper reported that investors were shifting out of European debt and buying instead the debt of such emerging market powers as Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa because of “economic fundamentals.” That is the sound of Europe losing centuries of economic and political power. …

Here’s pro-growth advice no one in Europe will take: Stop listening to the IMF bleeders and the Obama spenders. If you wish to relearn real, long-term growth, consult the U.S. governors who did that themselves. Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Mitch Daniels in Indiana and Chris Christie in New Jersey all took over states nearly as moribund as Italy and Spain and put before their publics hard but obvious choices about spending, taxes, pensions, unions and bureaucracies. Their publics voted against dying.