In the normal course of political events, any government that announced the largest cutbacks in public spending for more than thirty years would be seen as batting on a particularly sticky wicket.
And it is true that there has been no shortage of criticism of the £81bn cuts programme unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne on Wednesday.
Already, the coalition’s attempts to present the package as ‘fair’ have begun to look somewhat threadbare, with think-tanks such as the Institute for Fiscal Studies claiming it will hit the poorest hardest.
Given that public spending is of necessity higher in the worst-off areas of the country, it seems to me that the IFS is making not so much a contentious political point as a statement of the bleeding obvious.
Yet for all the sound and fury directed at the coalition this week, it is my belief that the spending review – and the wider question of how to tackle the deficit - actually poses a bigger problem for the Labour Party.
Why? Because like it or not, the government has succeeded in creating a consensus that, irrespective of whether or not the cuts are fair, they are certainly necessary.
The general election in May was essentially decided on two issues: whether the public could stand another five years of Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, and how fast the deficit should be cut.
It is because Labour lost the argument on not one but both of these issues that it finds itself out of power today.
So on the question of the £18bn cuts to welfare benefits, even allowing for the undoubted human cost, there is actually a broad consensus that this is something that needs to happen.
If the coalition can succeed in reforming the welfare state – something Labour really should have done from a position of strength post-1997 – the political as well as the economic dividends will be huge.
Likewise, there is also a broad consensus that the last government created too many ‘non jobs’ in the public sector that are now having to be shed.
If as the government’s own documents appear to confirm, the cutbacks do lead to 500,000 public sector job losses, many of those not personally affected will see it as a necessary re-balancing of the economy.
It has become almost a cliché over the past week to say that Mr Osborne’s spending review will determine the result of the next election, but it is true nevertheless.
If his great gamble pays off, and the economy recovers before 2015, the coalition will have succeeded in constructing a political narrative that will be well-nigh unbeatable at the polls.
It will be the well-worn cry of Tory governments down the ages - that Labour turned the country in an economic disaster zone, leaving the coalition to clear up the mess.
However good or bad a leader Ed Miliband turns out to be, it is inconceivable in those circumstances that the country would then turn back to Labour after just one term out of office.
Yet for Labour, the alternative scenario in which Mr Osborne’s cutbacks plunge the country into a double-dip recession is almost equally baleful.
Messrs Brown and Balls would then be powerfully vindicated – but at the cost of millions of lost jobs, repossessed homes, failed businesses and shattered lives.
Hence many Labour supporters who might ordinarily hope that the Comprehensive Spending Review proves this government’s undoing will instead be praying that Mr Osborne is proved right.
It may condemn their party to a decade of opposition. But at least they might still have their jobs by the end of it.