Finanzpolitische Torheiten

NEW YORK – Die Konjunkturprogramme, die die meisten Industrie- und Schwellenländer während der globalen Rezession 2008-2009 auflegten, haben – zusammen mit einer Lockerung der Geldpolitik und der Stützung des Finanzsystems – verhindert, dass die Große Rezession 2010 zu einer weiteren Großen Depression wird. In einer Zeit, in der die private Nachfrage in all ihren Bestandteilen zusammenbrach, hielt der Auftrieb durch höhere staatliche Ausgaben und niedrigere Steuern den freien Fall der Weltwirtschaft auf und schaffte die Grundlage für eine Erholung.

Leider haben die Konjunkturausgaben und die dazugehörigen Rettungspakete für das Finanzsystem zusammen mit den Auswirkungen der Rezession auf die Einnahmen zu Haushaltsdefiziten beigetragen, die in den meisten Industrieländern bei etwa 10 % des BIP liegen. Laut Internationalem Währungsfonds und anderen wird die Schuldenquote dieser Volkswirtschaften bis 2015 auf über 110 % des BIP steigen – im Vergleich zu 70 % vor der Krise. Die alternde Bevölkerung in den meisten Industrieländern bedeutet langfristig zusätzliche Schulden für die öffentliche Hand, da die Rentenversicherungen unvollständig finanziert sind und die Kosten im Gesundheitswesen steigen.

Somit müssen die Defizite in den meisten Industrieländern verringert werden, um eine spätere Haushaltskatastrophe zu verhindern. Doch weisen viele Forschungsarbeiten, darunter eine jüngere Studie des IWF, darauf hin, dass Steuererhöhungen und verminderte Ausgaben eine negative kurzfristige Wirkung auf die Gesamtnachfrage haben, wodurch sie die deflationären und rezessiven Tendenzen verstärken – und die Haushaltskonsolidierung untergraben.

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