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La exagerada promoción de los impuestos a las transacciones financieras

CAMBRIDGE – Sea cual fuere el resultado de las elecciones presidenciales de noviembre en Estados Unidos, una propuesta que probablemente continuará con vida es la introducción de un impuesto a las transacciones financieras (ITF). Si bien de ninguna forma es una idea alocada, un ITF no llega a ser la panacea que sus defensores de la izquierda dura sostienen que es. Sin duda, es un sustituto deficiente de una reforma fiscal profunda destinada a lograr que el sistema sea más simple, más transparente y más progresivo.

A medida que envejece la sociedad estadounidense y la desigualdad dentro del país empeora, y si se supone que las tasas de interés sobre la deuda nacional aumentarán con el tiempo, los impuestos deberán subir, urgentemente para los ricos, pero también algún día para la clase media. No hay una varita mágica, y la idea políticamente conveniente de un impuesto “Robin Hood” a las transacciones en bolsa está siendo promocionado de manera exagerada.

Es cierto, un número de países avanzados ya recurre a un tipo u otro de impuestos a las transacciones (ITF). El Reino Unido ha tenido un “impuesto de sello” a la venta de acciones durante siglos, y EE.UU. tuvo uno desde el año 1914 hasta el 1964. La Unión Europea considera en sus mesas de trabajo un plan polémico que gravaría una gama mucho más amplia de transacciones.

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