The Left continues to push the myth that government "austerity" (defined as still running a massive deficit but running a slightly smaller massive deficit) is somehow pushing Europe into a depression. Well, this myth-making worked with Hoover, who is generally thought to have worsened the Depression through austerity despite the reality that he substantially increased government spending.
It is almost impossible to spot this mythical austerity beast in action in these European countries. Sure, they talk about austerity, and deficit reduction, and spending increases, but if such talk were reality we would have a balanced budget in this country. If one looks at actual government spending in European nations, its impossible to find a substantial decline. Perhaps they are talking about tax increases, which I would oppose and have been occurring, but I doubt the Left is complaining about tax increases.
Seriously, I would post the chart showing the spending declines but I can't because I keep following links and have yet to find one. I keep seeing quotes about "commitment" to austerity, but no actual evidence of such.
Let's take Britain. Paul Krugman specifically lashed out at "austerity" programs there are undermining the British and European economy. So, from this source, here is actual and budgeted British government spending by year, in billions of pounds:
Seriously, I will believe the so-called austerity when someone shows it to me. And this is not even to mention the irresponsibility of demanding more deficit spending without even acknowledging the fact that whole countries already have so much debt they are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.
Here is the European problem -- they are pouring hundreds of billions of Euro into bailing out failed banks and governments. They are effectively taking massive amounts of available resources out of productive hands and pouring it into failed institutions. Had they (or we) let these institutions crash four years ago, Europe would be seeing a recovery today. The hundreds of billions of Euros used to keep banks on life support could have instead been used to mitigate the short term effects of bigger financial crash.