Paul Lachine

Amerika in der Sackgasse

CAMBRIDGE – Die Vereinigten Staaten scheinen in eine gefährliche wirtschaftliche Sackgasse geraten zu sein. Sowohl die Republikaner als auch die Demokraten weigern sich, im Haushaltsstreit von ihrer Position abzurücken und hindern die Regierung daran, sich ihrem massiven Haushaltsdefizit und der rasch wachsenden Staatsverschuldung anzunehmen. Prognosen des parteiunabhängigen Rechnungsamtes des Kongresses (CBO) zufolge könnte die Staatsverschuldung in den kommenden zehn Jahren auf 82% des BIP steigen – eine mehr als doppelt so hohe Schuldenquote wie noch im Jahr 2008.

Hinzukommt, dass diese Prognose auf ziemlich optimistischen Annahmen beruht und von einem starken Wirtschaftswachstum und niedrigen Zinsen ausgeht. Bei langsamerem Wachstum und normaleren Zinsen könnte die Schuldenquote bis zum Jahr 2021 leicht auf über 100% steigen und bis zum Jahr 2030 150% übersteigen.

Ein Hauptgrund für das Anwachsen der Staatsverschuldung ist Amerikas rasch alternde Bevölkerung und die daraus resultierenden steigenden Kosten für die öffentlichen Renten- und Krankenversicherungen – Social Security und Medicare. Die meisten Experten gehen davon aus, dass das Wachstum dieser „Berechtigungsprogramme“ gebremst und das Steueraufkommen gemessen am BIP erhöht werden muss, um die steigende Verschuldung zu bremsen.

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