Paul Lachine

Un remède aux problèmes fiscaux?

CAMBRIDGE – Davantage de pays devraient-ils créer des organes indépendants de conseil fiscal, afin d’insuffler une plus grande objectivité dans les débats sur les budgets nationaux ? Depuis sa prison, l’escroc Bernie Madoff a récemment résumé ce que beaucoup de gens pensent de la politique fiscale, en déclarant que « le gouvernement dans son ensemble est un ‘Ponzi scheme’ (ou combine à la Ponzi, ndt). »

Peut-être était-ce là la déclaration d’un homme prenant ses rêves pour la réalité, alors qu’il mourra en prison à la suite de l’effondrement en 2008 de son propre système pyramidal record de 50 milliards de dollars. A titre personnel, je suspecte que Madoff gardera longtemps sa place non enviable dans le livre des records. Ceci dit, on peut effectivement se demander quel est le plan fiscal lorsque beaucoup des plus grands gouvernements du monde sont confrontés à la combinaison mortelle d’une dette conventionnelle insoutenable, d’obligations sans précédent concernant les pensions aux personnes âgées et d’une réduction de la croissance.

Dans un nouvel article, “A Decade of Debt” (« Une décennie de dette », ndt), Carmen M. Reinhart et moi montrons que la dette générale du gouvernement des Etats-Unis, incluant la dette fédérale, des états et des villes, a maintenant dépassé le niveau record de 120% du PIB atteint à la fin de la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale.

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