现代财政启示录

去年,随着美国公众对乔治·W·布什总统的支持率几近崩溃,最出人意表的或许莫过于经济学家和观察家对布什经济政策的反感。上个星期,曾经担任里根和老布什两届总统讲稿写手的佩姬·努南(Peggy Noonan)在《华尔街日报》上撰文称:如果她早就知道乔治·W·布什的财政政策会是这样,那么在2000年总统选举中她就会把票投给戈尔。

“如果我早知道[乔治·W·布什]是肆意挥霍的洛克菲勒式共和党…我绝不会为他投票…,”努南写道。布什当时“的确把自己打扮成保守派…[而]保守派无论从抽象、理论的层面还是具体、实际的层面都应该对高开支高税收的政策恨之入骨…”而后她几乎陷入了彻底的绝望:“布什先生再也不必参加选举了,现在需要他站出来把放缓和削减开支的问题讲清楚,即便他的要求是老生常谈。可是他没有这么做,也没有任何迹象表明他会这么做…”

努南说的不全对。乔治·W·布什并没有把自己打扮成普通的保守主义者,而是他自己所谓的“富于同情心的保守派,”这样就留下了混淆的空间。有些人理解成“保守派”:他们认为布什政府的财政政策会严格控制开支、取消大量项目,进而实现大规模降低税赋。

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