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Fiscal Consolidation: Striking the Right Balance (Huffington Post)

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Reducing the national debt level is imperative, but fiscal consolidation—reducing deficits by cutting spending or raising revenues—typically stifles growth. So, the challenge is to come up with a strategy that is good for stability and good for growth. But even under optimistic assumptions, it will take many years for debt ratios to return to more appropriate levels.  It should be noted that both the United States and Japan lack sufficiently detailed and ambitious medium-term plans to reduce their debt ratios. Going forward, the U.S. will need to work with member countries and help them come up with a policy mix that is right for their circumstances as much as we need to work on our own policy for reducing debt levels.