Although Cameron and Clegg might want to persuade us that one set of quarterly figures justifies their ruthless programme of cuts, most people in the real world know that their words ring hollow.
So I can understand why some people were happy to learn that a new plan to develop part of Glasgow city centre has been approved by the Scottish Government.
Improvements to public spaces and a big retail expansion at Buchanan Galleries, have been proposed by Glasgow City Council and approved by the Scottish Government. Sadly, all is not as it seems.
The development is to be funded by a new scheme called TIF – tax increment finance.
Quite simply it means that the council will borrow the money and repay its debt from the increased business rates which will roll in from new businesses in the future.
In normal circumstances there might be a case for this: ensuring that retailers in the city effectively end up funding the investment in public spaces which benefit them and help them make their profits.
But with city centre premises lying empty I have to question this scheme.
The fact is that it's based on a pretty reckless assumption that retail sales will not only recover, but grow faster than the rest of the economy for decades to come.
If this doesn't happen, it's the public purse which will be at risk. Taxpayers will have stumped up for the development, with no guarantee of seeing the debt repaid.
Given that it's linked to the expansion of a privately owned shopping centre, you're also being asked to take on the risk to help drive up someone else's profits.
This kind of gamble is bad enough while the real-world recession continues and retail premises lie empty, but do we really think the solution lies in the very habits that got us into this mess?
City centre retail grew for years as people spent ever more cash and credit, consuming ever more stuff just for its own sake.
The kind of local businesses which kept communities and neighbourhoods alive dwindled away, while identical chain stores in the city centre and the big malls rang to the slogan: "Let's go shopping forever."
We must do better than this.
IF ECONOMIC recovery means anything, surely it means running a healthier economy than the one that failed us.
An economy that helps people to live within their means instead of on plastic, one that supports real local businesses with their roots in the communities they serve, and one that looks after our city's public spaces, but not at the expense of debt for tomorrow's taxpayers.