Readers of The New York Times must have been confused the other day when the paper ran an article titled "Under Strain, France Examines Its Safety Net."
Because the Times is ultra-liberal on its editorial page -- pretty much advocating every entitlement possible -- the hard news story seemed somewhat out of place. It chronicled the enormous benefits that French citizens receive. Paid child care, free higher education, free health care, a mandatory five weeks of paid vacation, monthly government payments for each child, two years of government-paid unemployment insurance, generous pensions -- the list is endless.
But there is huge trouble in the socialist paradise. Times reporter Alissa J. Rubin wrote this: "The spiraling costs of cradle-to-grave social welfare programs have all but exhausted the French government's ability to raise the taxes necessary to pay for it all, creating growing political problems for President Francois Hollande, a Socialist. ... Investors are shying away from the layers of government regulation and high taxes."
The French economy is stalled because employers must pay 48 percent of every worker's salary to the government. That means that for every $1,000 a hotel clerk receives in gross pay, another $480 goes from the hotel to Paris. So fewer jobs are created and more French people are unemployed because employers get hammered when they hire anyone.
But that's OK for many over there. Rubin's article quotes an unemployed guy named Louis Paris: "You cannot take away guns from Americans, and in the same way you cannot take away social benefits from French people. They won't stand for it."
There are about 66 million people living in France; about 314 million reside in the USA. Yet the Democratic Party and President Barack Obama want to create a French-style nanny state here despite the evidence that France is falling apart economically. Does that make any sense?
And how can an ultra-liberal newspaper such as The New York Times continue to advocate a nanny state when its hard-news pages are full of stories about Greece, Italy, France and other countries in dire economic trouble because of entitlement debt?
The answer lies in crazy ideology. Some liberals (and conservatives on other matters) are so committed to their philosophy that they don't care about reality. As long as the program fits into their utopian vision, they'll support it, no matter what the consequences.
Here's backup for that statement. I submit that President Obama and all the Democratic politicians who voted for Obamacare never even read the proposed bill. Nancy Pelosi admitted it. So now, when chaos reigns, they act surprised that things aren't working.
There comes a point when ideology has to be put aside and what's good for the country must be embraced. France is a selfish nation that is going down the drain economically because the folks there want stuff and economics be damned.
The United States is not far behind.
Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" and author of many books, including the newly released "Killing Jesus."