Lektionen aus der Fiskalklippe

CAMBRIDGE – Eins der vielen Dinge, die ich von Milton Friedman gelernt habe, ist, dass die wahren Kosten einer Regierung in ihren Ausgaben liegen und nicht in ihren Steuern. Anders ausgedrückt werden die Ausgaben entweder durch bestehende Steuern oder durch Kredite finanziert, und Kredite führen zu zukünftigen Steuern, die fast den gleichen wirtschaftlichen Effekt haben wie bestehende Steuern.

Diese Argumentation kann auf das unhaltbare Haushaltsdefizit der Vereinigen Staaten angewendet werden. Wie bekannt ist, müssen zum Ausgleichen dieses Defizits entweder die Ausgaben gekürzt oder die Steuern erhöht werden.

Die konventionelle Ansicht ist, ein vernünftiger. ausgeglichener Ansatz würde von beidem etwas beinhalten. Friedman allerdings hätte gesagt, die beiden Methoden sollten als polare Gegensätze gesehen werden. Weniger Ausgaben bedeuten, dass die Regierung kleiner wird. Mehr Steuern führen dazu, dass die Regierung größer wird. Daher wollen Befürworter einer kleineren Regierung (wie einige Republikaner) das Defizit ausschließlich durch Ausgabenkürzungen ausgleichen, während die Befürworter einer größeren Regierung (wie Präsident Barack Obama und die meisten Demokraten) zu diesem Zweck ausschließlich die Steuern erhöhen wollen.

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