noun, plural aus·ter·i·ties.
1. austere quality; severity of manner, life, etc.; sternness.
2. Usually, austerities. ascetic practices: austerities of monastery life.
3. strict economy.
Austerity is also described in economics, as a policy of deficit-cutting, lower spending, and a reduction in the amount of benefits and public services provided.
A day after voters in France and Greece toppled governments in a European backlash against austerity measures, Republicans moved forward with legislation to replace $78 billion in automatic spending cuts to defense and discretionary domestic spending with a much larger $261 billion cut focused only on domestic spending.
The GOP said its bill highlights the Democrats’ obsessions with raising taxes and inability to accept even reasonable spending cuts to a government that is $16 trillion in debt.
“We shouldn’t be taking more from hardworking Americans to fix Washington’s mistakes,” Ryan said in a statement. “Instead, we should be solving the problem with structural reforms to our entitlement programs to make them strong and sustainable.”
Democrats said the party-line vote showed Republicans were more interested in protecting tax breaks for oil companies than in funding programs that help the poor and needy.
“It is no wonder commentators are calling Republicans reverse-Robin Hoods,” said Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), who offered a motion that would have replaced cuts to Medicaid and children’s health insurance with cuts to oil and gas subsidies.