The "deficit hysteria" spreading throughout Washington and the media reminds Paul Krugman of the fear-mongering about weapons of mass destruction ahead of the Iraq war. Assertions that the deficit will doom the economic recovery and undermine America's place in the world are being tossed about as if they're facts, when running a deficit is actually the right thing to do after a major recession, Krugman writes in the New York Times.
The deficit should, if anything, be bigger so that more jobs can be created, Krugman argues. There is certainly a long-term budget problem, but nothing that can't be fixed once the economy is in better shape, he notes. The fear-mongering over the deficit is just Republicans playing politics, he writes, and it's forcing Washington to focus on shaving a few billion dollars off the budget when it should be tackling mass unemployment.
(Read more Paul Krugman stories.)