Hey, Europe: How's all that economic austerity working out for you? Apparently, not so well:

Q4/2011 Gross Domestic Product Growth
Germany-0.2 percent
France 0.2 percent
Italy-0.7 percent
Netherlands-0.7 percent
Spain-0.3 percent
Portugal-1.3 percent
Greece-7.0 percent

Yup, after all that fiscal belt-tightening, most of the economies of Europe are shrinking, and by an aggregate 0.3 percent across the entire Eurozone in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, here in the US, where we've chosen the more classically Keynesian approach of financing stimulus (however anemically) through deficit spending, we saw GDP grow by 0.7 percent in Q4—not as strong as we would like, but at least heading in the right direction. Also, both jobs and consumer confidence are up, unemployment is down, inflation is low, and interest rates remain stable. Europe may be heading back into recession, but US economic forecasters are cautiously optimistic.

Yet austerity is exactly the economic program that Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and the rest of the Republicans are peddling this election season. Go figure.

[via Atrios]