Das Spiel mit der US-Haushaltsreform

NEWPORT BEACH – Es klang wie eine wirklich gute Idee: Eine große und in der Öffentlichkeit bekannte Bedrohung sollte dazu verwendet werden, streitsüchtige Politiker zur Zusammenarbeit und Kompromissbereitschaft zu bewegen. Nun, bis jetzt hat das nicht funktioniert, und das Problem ist höchstens noch größer geworden.

Nein, ich meine nicht die europäische Schuldenkrise, deren endgültige Lösung ebenfalls bessere Zusammenarbeit und bessere Verteilung von Verantwortung zwischen den einzelnen Mitgliedern der Eurozone und zwischen Gläubiger- und Schuldnerländern erfordern würde. Ich beziehe mich auf die komplexe Haushaltssituation in den Vereinigten Staaten – ein dauerhaftes Problem, das durch die kürzliche Warnung der Rating-Agentur Moody’s noch verschärft wurde: Falls der Kongress mittelfristig bei den Haushaltsreformen keine Fortschritte macht, könnten die USA im nächsten Jahr ihre höchste Bewertung der Kreditwürdigkeit verlieren.

Der US-Kongress und Präsident Barack Obama – behindert durch die selbst zugefügten Wunden der Debatte über die Schuldengrenze im Sommer 2011, die Wirtschaftswachstum und Arbeitsplätze unterminiert und das Vertrauen der Amerikaner in ihr politisches System weiter beschädigt haben – haben die Notwendigkeit eines geregelten und rationalen Ansatzes zur Haushaltsreform begriffen. Um einen solchen wahrscheinlicher zu machen, haben sie sich auf sofortige Ausgabenbegrenzungen und Steuererhöhungen (die „Haushaltsklippe“) geeinigt, die automatisch in Kraft treten, wenn keine Einigung über ein umfassendes Paket von Haushaltsreformen erreicht wird.

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