At National Review online, Victor Davis Hanson rants about the false choice of Austerity vs. Growth. Dr. Hanson bulldozes the idea that we have even begun to see Austerity. He sees the current language as obscuring what is actually happening - a debate of not of
“growth” versus “austerity” but of “borrowing and spending” versus “fiscal discipline,”
Personally, what I believe we are seeing is the end game of democratic socialism. Past a certain point, if the State's share of the economy grows too large, the perverse incentives - to not work, to cheat on one's taxes, for cronyism, for graft and corruption, for entrenched public unions to gorge themselves at the public trough - turn into a massive economic self destruct mechanism.
A program of economic self destruction is what has been wrought. Vast swaths of the Western world have been taught that Keynesianism and Socialism are a sort of perpetual motion machine - that the more profligate a society - that if they borrow enough, then prosperity will follow. The math has never worked to anyone unwilling to believe that 2+2 does not equal five - especially when our eyes tell us that those portions of the economy run by the government (think the DMV or Post Office) tend to turn 2+2 into three.