Deficit Denier: Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, 2008 Nobel Laureate in Economics
“Why the wrong turn in policy? The hardliners often invoke the troubles facing Greece and other nations around the edges of Europe to justify their actions. And it's true that bond investors have turned on governments with intractable deficits. But there is no evidence that short-run fiscal austerity in the face of a depressed economy reassures investors. On the contrary: Greece has agreed to harsh austerity, only to find its risk spreads growing ever wider; Ireland has imposed savage cuts in public spending, only to be treated by the markets as a worse risk than Spain, which has been far more reluctant to take the hardliners' medicine.
“It's almost as if the financial markets understand what policymakers seemingly don't: that while long-term fiscal responsibility is important, slashing spending in the midst of a depression, which deepens that depression and paves the way for deflation, is actually self-defeating.
“So I don't think this is really about Greece, or indeed about any realistic appreciation of the trade-offs between deficits and jobs. It is, instead, the victory of an orthodoxy that has little to do with rational analysis, whose main tenet is that imposing suffering on other people is how you show leadership in tough times."