El peligroso debate sobre el límite máximo para la deuda de los Estados Unidos

NEWPORT BEACH – Se ha aumentado más de setenta veces en los cincuenta últimos años, en la mayoría de los casos sin conmoción alguna. Se deberá aumentar este verano para que el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos pueda seguir pagando sus facturas a tiempo, pero ahora el límite máximo de la deuda de los Estados Unidos ha pasado a ser la causa de una intensa adopción de poses políticas y negociaciones a puerta cerrada y de resultados inciertos y, evidentemente, el desenlace tendrá consecuencias que superarán con mucho los límites de los EE.UU.

El Congreso, como parte que es del sistema americano de controles entre los diferentes poderes del Estado, no se limita a aprobar el presupuesto federal anual, sino que, además, pone un límite a la cantidad de deuda que se permite emitir al Tesoro. Más allá de dicho límite máximo, el Gobierno puede gastar sólo con cargo a los ingresos actuales.

El Secretario del Tesoro de los EE.UU., Timothy Geithner, informó recientemente a los miembros del Congreso de que el Gobierno se encontraría en esa situación el 2 de agosto, más o menos. Tras haber alcanzado oficialmente el límite máximo, el Tesoro está moviendo dinero de un lado para otro y recurriendo a diversas reservas de fondos no utilizados para pagar sus deudas. Dentro de unas semanas, esa “flexibilidad” se habrá agotado. Como ahora el Gobierno de los EE.UU. está tomando prestado el 40 por ciento de cada uno de los dólares que gasta, un límite máximo de deuda verdaderamente vinculante obligaría inmediatamente a reducir el gasto radicalmente y de forma desordenada.

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