Don't Just Be Afraid Amid Market Chaos—Be Angry

Deficit hawks exploited this crisis and made it worse: Krugman
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2011 1:57 PM CDT
Paul Krugman: Deficit Hawks Used the Economic Crisis to their Benefit
Specialist James Ahrens works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

All this stock market turbulence should make you not only afraid but mad, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times. That's because deficit hawks have worsened the mess by "hijacking" the crisis to focus on their “favorite hobbyhorse," he writes. "What the market was saying—almost shouting—was, 'We’re not worried about the deficit! We’re worried about the weak economy!'" To fix the economy, we need jobs, and we need more government spending to make those jobs possible.

It's not just "hard-line Republicans" who are to blame for the misplaced focus. "Self-proclaimed centrists” dominate the national discussion by calling for long-term solutions such as entitlement reform to our economic troubles; they’ll say “there are no short-run fixes.” But “right now the economy desperately needs a short-run fix. When you’re bleeding profusely from an open wound, you want a doctor who binds that wound up, not a doctor who lectures you on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you get older.” (Read more Paul Krugman stories.)

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