The U.S. isn't the only country that can have a crippling argument over the state of its finances. Australia is in the middle of one too.
But unlike American conservatives, Australia's conservative prime minister — Tony Abbott — has decided to impose higher taxes on his country's highest earners. Abbott has proposed a 2 percent wage levy, despite promising not to raise taxes when he was running for office.
On Tuesday, the government promised to slice its deficit in half — with the help of some severe austerity measures.
But it's not all tax hikes and spending cuts for the country. Australia has now pledged to spend $84 million on the search for the Malaysia Airways flight that has been missing since March 8. The plane, and the 239 people who were aboard it, is thought to be somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
Back on the mainland, Australians shouldn't expect as much aid as the searchers for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are getting. Along with higher taxes, Abbott plans to lay off more than 16,000 state employees, slash 200 spending programs, kick people off unemployment benefits, and cut pensions for the elderly. Other government projects — such as high-speed Internet and high-speed rail — have been pushed to the wayside.