Austerity

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Austerity

A program in which a government drastically reduces spending and/or increases taxes or other revenue sources. A government launches austerity programs when their deficit and/or national debt become unsustainable. The IMF and the World Bank often require austerity programs in exchange for restructuring or refinancing a country's debt. Austerity is usually politically unpopular because it may involve cutting programs like food subsidies or national health care.