AUSTERITY is the method of Professional Politicians to protect the billionare wolves dressed in the sheep clothes of "prudence" and this goes mostly to Conservatives in the Teaparty Libertarian republican caucus, BUT also to those conservative Democrats including the President that fall for these beliefs rooted in the old Chicago based school of Keynesian economics coupled with Austrian Economics.
Since 1971 Nixon took us off the Gold Standard, freeing us from restrictions on commodity based money and enabling us to become monetarily sovereign, thru Tax driven Money (Fiat Currency) in that the US Government buys its own IOU's that it creates. The US has a monopoly on defining and producing money and currency, this is why we can never go bankrupt, in fact we do live in a Chartalist Economy made more powerful and effective thru the Fractional Federal Reserve. This is really about as good as it could get for everyone except for ....the Teaparty and conservative gold standard hawks that hate this and want to do all they can to demolish it. NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE EVIL but because they do religiously believe in this doctrine as a way of life....it is the false idea embraced and propagated by Reagan that "Government is the problem" and today it is known as "government tyranny". This is false, even in the past Thomas Jefferson after winning some of the battles against England decided to embrace the Hamiltonian idea of a central bank.... Government does not have to be the problem unless we make it the problem.
So when Conservative sources (primarily teaparty ones followed by the useful democrats that fall for it) make a push for spending cuts and deficit reduction what they are doing is FALSELY making us feel that we are still on the Gold Standard and that money will run out, so thru the Republican Administrations, they can spend as much as they can on Wars, busting unions, and all the earmarks that benefit them and then DEMAND cutting spending and reduce the deficit by cutting those Government programs that put a burden on their profit margin thru the tax system.
In fact, it is known in Teaparty circles and blog-sphere that they would like to push us back into the Gold Standard by DEVALUING OUR CURRENCY as the Teaparty does when not wanting to raise the Debt Ceiling because they are trying to send a message to the Bond buyers that the US may not pay its debt, THEREFORE delegitimizing the guarantee of government backed money/currency...this is all a concerted effort to ensure that those with wealth take over the country such as AynRand suggested by referring to them as the Makers who should never be bothered since according to AynRand they carry the rest of us on their shoulders.
This is in short the subtle message of Austerity camouflaged by the idea of prudence ...it is the breakup of Government legitimacy so that upon the destruction of the government the wealthy can become wealthier, only keeping government suitable to only protect property rights, contracts, defense and their business interests