While the language of austerity isn’t widely used to talk about the U.S., the New York Times has framed the political developments in Europe around the debate between stimulus and austerity:
PARIS — Hours after voters in France and Greece delivered sharp rebuttals to advocates of austerity as the antidote to Europe’s financial crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Monday pointedly insisted that neither she nor her government favored a renegotiation of a fiscal pact underpinning the Continent’s belt-tightening.
Ms. Merkel’s remarks at a news conference in Berlin came as the victorious, socialist François Hollande prepared to succeed Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France. Her remarks underscored both the abiding significance of the axis between Paris and Berlin that drives European decision-making and the competing visions of austerity and stimulus as ways to combat crushing debt.
How much Hollande is able to affect the imposition of austerity on France remains to be seen.