This is Alesina's hour. In April in Madrid, he told the European Union's economic and finance ministers that "large, credible, and decisive" spending cuts to reduce budget deficits have frequently been followed by economic growth.
Alesina argues that austerity can stimulate economic growth by calming bond markets, which lowers interest rates and promotes investment. In addition, he says, deficit-cutting reassures taxpayers that more wrenching fiscal adjustments won't be needed later. That revives their animal spirits and their spending. Alesina says that as a way to shrink deficits, spending cuts are better for growth than raising taxes.
The last sentence is worth noting:
Clearly, economists are as divided as politicians. The problem is that if austerity budgets are pursued and they prove ill-advised, many more people will suffer than just a few economists.
Cross your fingers....
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