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Monday, May 6, 2013

Does Austerity Work?

Does raising taxes and cutting government spending reduce a government’s deficits and thus debt? Confine consideration to more tax revenue and less spent and the theoretical answer is yes; it being a simple matter of mathematics. Include the impacts of raising taxes and cutting spending and the answer become far less straightforward. More paid in tax means less disposable income, which means less consumption and thus less produced (i.e., GNP). A government spending less also means less consumption in the economy, and therefore even less to be produced to meet demand. In short, austerity is recessionary. Whether the ratios of deficit and debt to GDP increase depends on how much the numerators drop relative to the decrease in GDP. We can look at the E.U. for some empirical evidence.
The full essay is at "Essays on the E.U. Political Economy," available at Amazon.
 If austerity kills dignity, then pressure on governments to relax spending cuts can be expected.   source: rt.com