A vicious, savage, axe-wielding killer stalks the political landscape, yearning to draw blood, slash victims, and amputate limbs. That's not my description of austerity economics - that's how its fans talk about it.
"Austerity" is defined as "the trait of great self-denial (especially refraining from worldly pleasures)." Austerity economics, on the other hand, is the practice of denying others things that they need while at the same time ensuring your own continued privilege and comfort. This practice is usually accompanied by a round of self-congratulation for showing such courage and discipline. Its usually sinister spell has seduced Republicans into aiding and abetting felons with budget cuts that would make them de facto accomplices to a thousand crimes. And what the president's about to do will literally send chills down a million spines.
Anne Applebaum nearly worked herself into a case of the vapors when Austerians got elected in Great Britain, when she palpitatingly repeated the phrases used by journalists there to describe the new government's budget. The new British leaders, said journalists, were "axe-wielders" who were inflicting "vicious," "savage," and "swingeing (sic) cuts." (Is that what "bangers and mash" really means?)
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