THE BRITISH MODEL THE GOP HOPES TO EMULATE…. About a month ago, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) of Alabama urged President Obama to follow the lead set by our friends across the pond: “We need a budget with a bold vision — like [the one] unveiled in Britain.” Last week, Sessions praised British Prime Minister David Cameron’s “leadership” on cutting spending.

This isn’t an uncommon sentiment on the right. British officials are pursuing policies similar to those Republicans are demanding in the United States, so GOP praise for Cameron and his austerity agenda is often incorporated into the party’s talking points.

And how’s that British model working out?

Britain’s economy shrank by 0.6% in the final quarter of last year, a sharper fall than previously thought.

The previous four quarters, by the way, had shown modest growth.

Remind me again why Republicans want to follow Britain’s lead?

Or for that matter, why the right is so enamored with the German model, which is arguably even worse?

Update: And as Atrios reminds us, let’s also not forget what happened after Irish officials bailed out the bankers and cut public spending.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.