错误的赤字满意

美国剑桥—美国依然面临着危险的预算赤字,但这个赤字可能无法从华盛顿预算讨论中所弥漫的自鸣得意之情中获知。此前联邦赤字被视为一个紧迫问题,但现在已经沦为美国政坛的次等问题。

触发观点改变的是国会预算办公室(CBO,这是一个独立的技术机构,负责向过会提供预算问题的建议)最新公布的赤字预测。根据CBO的报告,美国财政赤字将从2012年的占GDP的7%降至2013年的占GDP的4%。这一减少幅度反映了去年3月生效的国防和非国防项目上的预算“封顶”所带来支出削减以及2012年底生效的提高所得税和工资税税率所带来的收入增加。

更令人瞩目的是CBO预测赤字将持续快速减少,2015年将减至GDP的2.1%,此后会逐渐上升,到2023年(CBO正式预测期的期末)将占GDP的3.5%。预算变化路径意味着未来十年的政府债务/GDP比率将维持在75%左右。

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