As the G20 summit convenes in Toronto, patriotic citizens of the U.S. can be forgiven for-just this once-pulling for England or Germany wallop us. Our president wants to spend more money on government stimulus; their leaders want to go on a financial diet.

Less than a week after President Obama sent a letter to fellow G20 attendees advocating keeping the (astronomical) government spending programs in place, the U.K. announced an austerity budget.   

A story in the Christian Science Monitor analyses the situation in the U.K.:  

The belt-tightening in the UK could sap economic growth when the spending cuts and tax hikes go into effect next year.

However, Jay Bryson, an international economist at Wells Fargo Securities, says he doubts it will drive the country into a recession. In a report issued Thursday, he notes that other Conservatives in the past (notably Margaret Thatcher) have cut the deficit and then watched the economy grow.

Though I am not at all confident it will happen, I am hoping that the debt slashers will triumph over the big spenders at the G20 meeting. The Monitor paints a grim picture of global and personal debt:

World debt, both public and private, now amounts to $222.5 trillion, equal to 362 percent of global GDP, writes David Rosenberg, an economist at Gluskin Sheff, a Toronto wealth management firm.

“The bottom line is that all levels of society, and across most countries in the industrialized world, have far too much debt and far too much debt-servicing costs in relation to income,” he writes in a recent report on the company’s website.