He offers a very helpful guide to the newly popular theory that fiscal consolidation actually helps growth rather than smothering it. He's unconvinced:

I remain skeptical that immediate fiscal consolidation is desirable; I think the case for additional short-term stimulus is much stronger. (The necessity of long-term fiscal adjustment is unquestioned.) But if stimulus is effectively impossible, as I believe it is, we may have no choice but to test the theory that consolidation can be expansionary. I am inclined to think that there is a greater likelihood that we would be repeating the fiscal error of 1937, in which a sharp fiscal contraction brought on a recession, than that we will get the sort of results achieved in small countries starting with high inflation and interest rates. But if we go the consolidation route, we should at least try to concentrate as much of it as possible on the spending side of the budget, which is the one thing that every study says is essential for success.

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