Spend now, while the economy remains depressed; save later, once it has recovered. How hard is that to understand? But if we need to raise taxes and cut spending eventually, shouldnt we start now? No, we shouldnt. Right now, we have a severely depressed economy and that depressed economy is inflicting long-run damage. Every year that goes by with extremely high unemployment increases the chance that many of the long-term unemployed will never come back to the work force, and become a permanent underclass. Every year that there are five times as many people seeking work as there are job openings means that hundreds of thousands of Americans graduating from school are denied the chance to get started on their working lives. And with each passing month we drift closer to a Japanese-style deflationary trap. Penny-pinching at a time like this isnt just cruel; it endangers the nations future. And it doesnt even do much to reduce our future debt burden, because stinting on spending now threatens the economic recovery, and with it the hope for rising revenues. So now is not the time for fiscal austerity.