Paul Lachine

Cuatro medidas para la salud fiscal de los Estados Unidos

WASHINGTON, DC – Este año los Estados Unidos tienen un déficit presupuestal significativo que puede ser de 1.3 billones (10% del PIB) y las previsiones de largo plazo son preocupantes. De acuerdo con la Oficina Presupuestal del Congreso (CBO, el principal grupo de expertos independiente), el Social Security (Seguridad Social) junto con el Medicare (Servicios Médicos) y otros programas de salud, crecerán hasta consumir casi todos los ingresos fiscales para 2035.

Los Estados Unidos pueden financiar estos déficits en el corto plazo –de hecho, las tasas de interés de los bonos del tesoro de ese país recientemente cayeron a niveles bajos sin precedentes. Sin embargo, si no se hacen esfuerzos serios para lograr la consolidación fiscal habrá problemas graves más adelante, tanto para los Estados Unidos como para la economía mundial. Por consiguiente, los Estados Unidos necesitan urgentemente empezar a realizar cuatro cambios serios.

El primero es una amplia reforma fiscal que tenga por objetivo armonizar la política fiscal con incentivos económicos deseables. En particular, los Estados Unidos deben considerar la introducción de un impuesto al valor agregado (IVA), utilizado extensamente en otros países industrializados. Al establecer un impuesto al consumo en cada etapa de la cadena de producción, dicho país podría reducir el consumo excesivo que contribuyó a generar la reciente burbuja de crédito, fomentando el ahorro y la inversión en su lugar. Con seguridad, un IVA simple es regresivo aunque se puede hacer progresivo combinándolo con una devolución parcial o exentando necesidades básicas.

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