El excepcional conservadurismo fiscal americano

WASHINGTON, D.C. – En la mayoría de los países, ser “fiscalmente conservador” significa preocuparse mucho por los niveles de déficit presupuestario y de deuda y situar esas s cuestiones en los primeros puestos del programa político. Actualmente, en muchos países de la zona del euro “los conservadores fiscales” son un grupo potente, que insiste en la necesidad de aumentar los ingresos estatales y al tiempo controlar el gasto. También en Gran Bretaña, conservadores destacados se han mostrado recientemente dispuestos a aumentar los impuestos y han intentado limitar el gasto futuro.

Los Estados Unidos son muy diferentes a ese respecto. Allí, a políticos destacados que se llaman a sí mismos “conservadores fiscales” –como, por ejemplo, Paul Ryan, ahora presunto nuevo candidato a la vicepresidencia que hará campaña junto al candidato a la presidencia, Mitt Romney, en las elecciones de noviembre– les interesan más las reducciones de impuestos, independientemente del efecto que tengan en el déficit federal y en la deuda total pendiente. ¿Por qué los conservadores fiscales de los EE.UU. se preocupan tan poco por la deuda gubernamental en comparación con sus homólogos de otros países?

No siempre ha sido así. Por ejemplo, en 1960 los asesores del Presidente Dwight D. Eisenhower propusieron que redujera los impuestos a fin de preparar el camino para que su Vicepresidente, Richard Nixon, fuera elegido presidente. Eisenhower se negó, en parte porque no le gustaba demasiado Nixon ni confiaba en él, pero sobre todo porque consideraba importante entregar un presupuesto casi equilibrado a su sucesor.

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