A 'Europeanization' Warning at CPAC

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – A panel of European and American lawmakers at CPAC warned those in attendance of the consequences of heading down the same road as Europe by adopting similar policies based on a strong central government, an overregulated economy, and a generous welfare state.

Members of the European Parliament Derk Jan Eppink and Vytautas Landsbergis, Vice President of the Competitive Enterprise Institute Iain Murray, and U.S. Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and Tom Price (R-Ga.) discussed on Thursday the dangers of allowing social welfare policies, bureaucratic centralization, and overregulation from taking over the set of principles that have traditionally guided the American government.

“I see America making the same mistakes Britain has made over the past 15 years,” said Murray. “America is not that far gone yet, and the fact it retains some competitive federalism in the states is a source of hope, but the regulatory Leviathan in this city threatens to swamp the American spirit.”

Murray, a native of Britain residing in the United States, provided an overview of the many policies he considers to have put Britain down the road to “Europeanization.”

“Two things happened to promote the shift from conservatism in Britain: bureaucratic centralism and the election of Tony Blair,” said Murray.

“Britain would pride itself in many of the same virtues that Americans would recognize today: a strong work ethic, a vital civil society, a respect for individual effort and tradition,” said Murray.

Both Price and Pompeo shared their views on why America is becoming more like Europe.

Pompeo told the audience that America runs the risk of making the same mistakes made in Europe, giving several examples that according to him are embodied by the idea of “the denigration of risk taking.”

“This idea that we cannot have any risk and that everyone has to be taken care from cradle to grave, and that personal accountability, and for that matter, corporate accountability is unfathomable in the country…when you reach that point bad things happen and we are certainly close,” said Pompeo.