严肃财政纪律,德国恐徒劳无功

普林斯顿——全世界的公共赤字都在激增。为了救助受金融和经济危机冲击的银行和企业,各国政府要负担高昂成本。当前需要凯恩斯式的经济刺激,也已是普遍共识。与此同时,政策制定者也在日益急切地寻找“退出策略”。他们知道赤字财政不能永远搞下去,但他们不想明说,这种痛苦的“退出”会从何时开始。

德国却是个例外,不是说它没有扩张政府开支,而是说它在谈到未来的时候开门见山,显得特立独行。德国政府采取了一个特别坚决的方针来对付赤字,还试图敲定一套退出策略。德国总理默克尔(Angela Merkel)曾经批评美联储和英格兰银行的“量化宽松”政策,说它实质上允许央行把各种政府和非政府债务货币化。德国政府还通过了一个宪法修正案,规定到2016年,政府赤字不得超过GDP的0.35%,到2020年则要彻底消除。

不论是攻击央行过度宽松货币政策的论调,还是限制政府举债的政策,在德国都很得人心。可是全世界的经济学家,包括德国的经济学家,则广泛认为那是无稽之谈。

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