Well we want to look like we care.
This reminds me of a South Park episode
Regardless, I don't feel that it "looks like we care" about our spending problem by simply increasing our income by what would be a relatively trivial amount (in comparison to our current spending levels and in comparison to the overall debt level).
Of course the deficit matters in that it can't grow indefinitely. Krugman's point is that we don't have a deficit crisis right now. Countries are lining up buying our debt, keeping interest rates at all time lows.
So, basically, the argument is that we should focus on short-term goals.
I see no problem with that.
Best way to finance that? Tax the rich more. Helps pay for that, and works at paying down the deficit some later when the economy is back on track as the deficit can't grow unchecked indefinitely.
I just know that someone is grinding their teeth over the misuse of debt vs. deficit...
Is higher taxes the best way to finance social spending?
I tend to believe that cutting spending in other areas (in particular, military/defense) would be the better way to finance it. That's not to say the entire tax situation doesn't need to be looked at, but when our government has had unchecked spending for so long, I'd prefer to see them show that they do have restraint and control (and common sense) before giving them more money.
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it."