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Britain's Budget Slash: Lessons?

The U.K. Prime Minister flies business class to D.C. The Queen, all of Britain, in deep cutback mode. Could the U.S. take that much pain?

Pres. Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron arrive for a joint news conference at the White House, July 20, 2010. (AP)

The British prime minister came to the U.S. this week, and flew business class across the Atlantic. No Air Force One. No private jet. Just business class. He went to New York… and had a hot dog for lunch, on the street. 

While the U.S. debates stimulus versus cutbacks, the U.K. – under a new conservative government – has gone headlong for austerity. Britain’s giant public spending cutbacks are all over — the biggest since World War II. 

It could save their credit rating. It could croak their recovery.  

This Hour, On Point: we’re looking at Britain’s massive redirection toward austerity.

Guests:

Philip Coggan, columnist and capital markets editor for The Economist magazine. He writes the “Buttonwood” column.

David Blanchflower, professor of economics at Dartmouth College and member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England from 2006 to 2009.

Lord Meghnad Desai, professor emeritus of economics at the London School of Economics and founder of LSE’s Centre for the Study of Global Governance.

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