Insight: Deficits, the U.S. election and politics of fear

(Reuters) - The top contenders in the U.S. presidential race seem to have a simple plan for the gaping budget deficit: use it to strike fear into the hearts of voters.

Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney says President Barack Obama is such a big spender that he would trigger a Greece-style crisis if re-elected in November.

Democrat Obama says Republican candidates would balance the budget by slashing social programs older Americans rely on to pay their medical bills.

Polls suggest both approaches resonate with voters spooked by the biggest three-year surge in federal debt since World War Two, which has vaulted budget worries to the forefront of public consciousness and fueled the budget-slashing Tea Party movement.


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