"The boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity at the Treasury." So declared John Maynard Keynes in 1937, even as F.D.R. was about to prove him right by trying to balance the budget too soon, sending the United States economy -- which had been steadily recovering up to that point -- into a severe recession. Slashing government spending in a depressed economy depresses the economy further; austerity should wait until a strong recovery is well under way.
Paul Krugman: Governments Should Cut Back In Boom Times, Not Bust