El juego de la reforma fiscal de Estados Unidos

NEWPORT BEACH – Parecía una idea realmente inteligente: utilizar una amenaza muy pública e importante para hacer que los políticos contenciosos colaboren y se pongan de acuerdo. Bueno, no ha funcionado hasta el momento, y las apuestas que ya eran considerables se volvieron mayores.

No, no estoy hablando de la crisis de deuda de Europa, cuya resolución decisiva todavía requiere una mayor cooperación y una responsabilidad compartida, tanto dentro de los estados miembro individuales que conforman la eurozona como entre los países acreedores y deudores. Me estoy refiriendo a la compleja situación fiscal en Estados Unidos -un problema incierto que se ha tornado más trascendental luego de la reciente advertencia de la agencia de calificación Moody's de que Estados Unidos podría perder su máxima calificación crediticia el año próximo si el Congreso no avanza en materia de reformas fiscales a mediano plazo.

Coartados por las heridas autoinfligidas de la debacle del tope de endeudamiento del verano de 2011 -que socavó el crecimiento económico y la creación de empleo, y dañó aún más la confianza de los norteamericanos en su sistema políticos-, el Congreso de Estados Unidos y la administración del presidente Barack Obama reconocieron la necesidad de una estrategia medida y racional en cuanto a una reforma fiscal. Para aumentar la probabilidad de que esto suceda, acordaron un recorte inmediato del gasto y aumentos impositivos que automáticamente entrarían en vigor (el "abismo fiscal") si un acuerdo sobre un conjunto integral de reformas fiscales los eludía.

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