This is a repost of a comment but I think it warrants further consideration:
Reducing government spending is a high school grad's solution to our current dilemma - yet its simplicity is elegant. Austerity is a joke in political culture, akin to telling a crack addict to simply wean himself off of his poison of choice - this is a sad commentary unto itself. People are so cemented into our credit-dependent culture that a millions of dollars are considered "drops in a bucket". This number so surreal that it has to be ignored in order for society to function on a daily basis (much like one ignores their own mortality in order to live a fulfilling existence day-to-day); while these drops may be statistically insignificant they are still positive measures. Dismissing them is a function of unexcused apathy that has recently become socially acceptable - instead we wait for the quick solution, the easy way out. Austerity is painful and slow - but much like all life choices; there is not quick fix and the right decision often requires a lot of work and conviction. As a sophomore I sat in an economics class and learned of the crowding out effect and its effects on small business; where is that classical economic thought now? The people that ardently condemned predatory lending & credit overextension now sit on their hands waiting for the Hill to fix itself - this is sheer hypocrisy. We knew, much like mortgage originators knew of their clients, that our government did not have the equity, liquidity, nor the means to cover the interest of its loans let alone the principal - yet we gave them our money anyways. It is our fault that we allowed the government our money - they did not "take" it. If we were not so ignorant towards/satisfied with the myth of American financial supremacy then we would have demanded our politicians to cut spending. Yet active democracy is a farce and most of us depend on a small percentage of America to do the dirty political work for us (and then consequently condemn them as radicals when they take extreme stances). It is now time to take active roles in our own self government and take responsibility for our financial situation - it is time to demand that Washington tighten OUR collective belt - it is time to have the fortitude and conviction to dedicate ourselves to a long road of slow recovery instead of wishing and hoping for the quick fix. This begins with participation and ends with national austerity.
Why is austerity impossible to actually implement? What other simplistic answers to our current economic woes are simply impossible to exercise due to cultural apathy? When did responsibility get outsourced to Washington and when will we stop expecting them to act on our behalf when we lack the will and conviction to do it ourselves? Then again, it is always easier to rant in support of economic conservatism and political activism when you are sitting in an office.