I've been on vacation in Greece this week, regularly interrupted by bulletins about the dismal economic news back in America: bankruptcy filings at their highest since 2005; new unemployment claims surpassing 500,000. I was in the Ionian Islands when I read Paul Krugman's column about how we're engaging "in human sacrifices to appease the anger of invisible gods" -- allowing the obsession with deficit reduction to trump job creation. Surrounded by the monuments my ancestors built to appease the Greek gods, I found Krugman's analogy particularly chilling. The perverse priorities of "the apostles of austerity" were on display with the news that the U.S. is planning to turn much of the ongoing security work in Iraq over to private contractors -- a transition that will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. How come those demanding sacrifice from millions of Americans never seem to have a problem with writing that kind of check?