The current media fervor for austerity measures instead of stimulus policies at a time when the economy is suffering from insufficient demand is nothing new. John Maynard Keynes’ media criticism in a 1931 letter to a journalist friend (Fabius Maximus; 6/21/10) could have been issued today:
To read the newspapers just now is to see Bedlam let loose. Every person in the country of super asinine propensities, everyone who hates social progress and loves deflation, feels that his hour has come, and triumphantly announces how, by refraining from every form of economic activity, we can become prosperous again.
(The quote can be found in Maynard Keynes: An Economist’s Biography, by Donald Edward Moggridge.)