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strict economic measures, such as tax increases and cuts to social spending, intended to reduce government deficits and debt. Such programs are common as a condition of bailout funds, including in Europe’s financial crisis in recent years. Austerity’s champions, such as Germany, view it as an essential step for indebted governments to rein in their spending. Detractors, such as the United States and countries receiving bailouts, such as Greece, argue that austerity compounds human misery and stymies the growth necessary for countries to eventually pay down their debts.