Il faut un accord bipartisan sur le plafond de la dette américaine !

NEWPORT BEACH – Le plafond de la dette américaine a été relevé plus de 70 fois au cours du dernier demi-siècle, le plus souvent sans que cela ne soulève de problème. Et il doit être relevé une fois de plus cet été pour que le gouvernement américain puisse continuer à assurer le versement des sommes qui lui incombent. Mais maintenant ce plafond est au centre d'une polémique virulente entre démocrates et républicains, tandis que des négociations tendues se déroulent en coulisses. Quant au résultat, il aura des conséquences qui s'étendront bien au-delà des USA.

Dans le cadre de l'équilibre des pouvoirs, le Congrès ne se contente pas de voter le budget fédéral. Il fixe également des limites à la dette que le Trésor américain peut émettre. Au-delà de ce plafond, le gouvernement ne peut utiliser que ses recettes de l'année. Or le secrétaire au Trésor américain, Timothy Geithner, a récemment informé le Congrès que le gouvernement allait se trouver dans cette situation aux alentours du 2 août.

Ayant déjà officiellement atteint la limite qui lui a été fixée, le Trésor joue d'artifices pour respecter ses engagements. Dans quelques semaines il aura épuisé ce recours à la "flexibilité". Le gouvernement américain empruntant maintenant 40 cents pour chaque dollar qu'il dépense, une limite stricte de la dette admissible contraindrait le gouvernement à réduire immédiatement ses dépenses de manière drastique dans un climat de panique.

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