Paul Lachine

Quatre mesures pour la santé budgétaire américaine

WASHINGTON – Les Etats-Unis souffrent d’un grave problème de déficit budgétaire, probablement de l’ordre de 1,3 trillions de dollars cette année (10% du PIB), et les prévisions à long terme sont inquiétantes. Selon le Congressional Budget Office (CBO, commission budgétaire parlementaire, constituée des meilleurs experts non partisans), la Sécurité Sociale ainsi que les systèmes Medicare, Medicaid, et d’autres programmes de santé, devraient d’ici à 2035, engloutir la quasi totalité de l’ensemble des revenus fiscaux.

Les Etats-Unis peuvent financer ces déficits à court terme – les taux d’intérêts sur les bons du Trésor américains ont d’ailleurs récemment chuté à leur plus bas niveau. Mais si aucun effort réel n’est fait pour parvenir à une consolidation budgétaire, il faut s’attendre à de réels problèmes aux Etats-Unis comme pour le reste de l’économie mondiale. Les Etats-Unis doivent donc urgemment procéder à quatre grandes modifications.

La première est une profonde réforme fiscale visant à aligner la politique fiscale à des incitations économiques souhaitables. Les Etats-Unis devraient en particulier envisager l’introduction d’une taxe sur la valeur ajoutée (TVA), déjà largement appliquée dans d’autres pays industrialisés. En appliquant une taxe sur la consommation à chaque étape de la chaine de production, l’Amérique pourrait réduire la surconsommation à l’origine de la récente bulle du crédit, et inciter plutôt à l’épargne et à l’investissement. Une simple TVA est bien sur régressive, mais elle peut être rendue progressive en la combinant avec des rabais partiels ou en exemptant les produits de première nécessité.

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