The Kindest Cuts. Alberto Alesina, Fall 2012, Opinion. "Shrinking spending reduces deficits without harming the economy—unlike tax hikes. Should debt-ridden and economically struggling Western governments be doing everything possible to reduce their deficits? The debate over that question has become increasingly confusing—not only in Europe, where the matter is particularly urgent, but in the United States, too. Those in favor of immediate deficit reduction argue that it is a necessary precondition of economic growth..."