Paul Lachine

Déficits buenos y malos

LONDRES – “Los déficits siempre son malos”, truenan los halcones fiscales. No es así, replica el analista de inversiones estratégicas H. Wood Brock en un nuevo libro interesante: The American Gridlock (“El estancamiento americano”). Una evaluación adecuada –sostiene Brock– depende de la “composición y la calidad del gasto estatal total”.

Los déficits estatales debidos al gasto corriente para servicios o transferencias son malos, porque no producen ingresos y contribuyen a la deuda nacional. En cambio, los déficits resultantes del gasto de capital son –o pueden ser– buenos. Si se administra con prudencia, ese gasto produce una corriente de ingresos que sirve para sufragar el servicio de la deuda y con el tiempo saldarla; más importante es que aumenta la productividad, con lo que mejora las posibilidades de crecimiento a largo plazo de un país.

De esa distinción se sigue una importante regla fiscal: normalmente, se debe equilibrar el gasto corriente de los Estados con la fiscalidad. A ese respecto, las medidas adoptadas actualmente para reducir los déficit debidos al gasto corriente están justificados, pero sólo si se los substituye enteramente por programas de gasto de capital. De hecho, la reducción del gasto corriente y el aumento del gasto de capital deben darse conjuntamente.

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