The Europeans are having an old fashioned battle over the extent of public austerity but I don’t get the sense it is some kind of existential battle. Most Europeans don’t have a hostile view of the state they just haggle on the margins. The Yanks, on the other hand, seem to be going through one of their generational crises.
Take Julia, Barack Obama’s sample lady and her progression through life with a government there to support her all the way. Within hours of Julia’s debut, there was a massive social media backlash and the Heritage Foundation had “A Better Life for Julia” online and its proponents are saying it has had more traffic than the original Julia.
For the Americans, then, it’s not just a question of degrees (i.e. how much austerity, what types of tax increases, etc.) but a fight for the soul of America.