Fiscal austerity is hugely controversial. Opponents argue that it can trigger downward growth spirals and become self-defeating. Supporters argue that budget deficits have to be tackled aggressively at all times and at all costs. Bringing needed clarity to one of today's most challenging economic issues, three leading policy experts cut through the political noise to demonstrate that there is not one type of austerity but many. Austerity assesses the relative effectiveness of tax increases and spending cuts at reducing debt, shows that austerity is not necessarily the kiss of death for political careers as is often believed, and charts a sensible approach based on data analysis rather than ideology.