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Massive austerity bill approved first in riot-torn Italy and now Greece; will it happen here?

You have likely heard the term “austerity measures” used in the media quite frequently as of late, especially in regards to Greece.
For help in defining this term, let’s first look up the definition of “austere”.
“Austere” means “strict or severe in discipline”.
“Austerity measures” are strict measures that are undertaken by a government to help bring expenditures more in line with revenues.
“Austerity measures” can be voluntarily implemented (for example, in order to bring deficits down) or involuntarily implemented (for example, if a country defaults on its debt and is given loans by the IMF).
“Austerity measures” usually include a combination of spending cuts and tax/fee increases.
The most common example of “austerity measures” occurs when a sovereign government’s bond rating is downgraded. This makes borrowing more expensive, and usually forces the government to impose these new measures.

14 September 2011 Last updated at 16:30 ET
After weeks of discussions, Italy’s austerity bill has been given final approval by the lower house parliament in Rome.
Rome Riots Over Austerity Measures
But there is fierce public opposition to the measures and police have once again clashed with protesters on the streets of the capital.

Fears Euro Debt Crisis May Spread To France

  • 12 November 2011,
Leading economists have warned the £261bn worth of Italian debt that French banks hold leaves them dangerously exposed to the spreading financial woes.
That figure represents more than half of all European bank lending to Italy.
British banks, on the other hand, could also be affected by a French crisis due to the amount of French debt the UK holds.
The French fears come after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s accidentally sent out a message saying it was downgrading the country’s prized “AAA” credit rating.

Massive austerity bill approved in riot-torn Greece

The Greek parliament has approved new harsh austerity legislature needed to secure a 130-billion-euro bailout from the EU and the IMF in efforts to avoid devastating default. This comes amid violent riots against the vote in Athens.
The lawmakers voted early Monday in favor of the bill that will cut 15,000 public-sector jobs and lower the minimum wage by 20 per cent.
“The social cost of this program is limited in comparison with the economic and social catastrophe that would follow if we did not adopt it,” he said in a televised address.
More than 100,000 protesters marched to the building of parliament at Syntagma Square on Sunday to express their anger at the new harsh austerity bill.

Obama To Unveil Budget With Higher Taxes, More Deficits

The president’s budget request to Congress forecasts a deficit of $1.33 trillion in the current fiscal year — even higher than expected — and calls for at least $1.5 trillion in tax hikes over the next decade. By including $350 billion in short-term stimulus spending, Mr. Obama is submitting a plan that is ready-made for his re-election campaign but has no chance of passing a divided Congress.
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