Cutbacks can have a counterintuitive effect. The government knows precisely how much it custs in spending. However, it cannot know the extent to which tax revenues shrink in a non-linear complex economic system as the economy contracts. In addition, the treasury has to spend more as automatic stabilizers activate and payments are made to an increasing number of unemployed workers. The effect of this is that initially the deficit shrinks, but later it rises as tax revenues fall short of expectations and more spending takes place. The ironic part is that often the very indicator that promted austerity measurs, the defcit to GDP ratio, becomes worse than it was at the outset. We could observe this in Spain and Portugal where planned deficits have been repeatedly missed, as austerity measures (fiscal cutbacks) were introduced to deal with the effects of the 2008 financial crisis.