Alex Wong/Getty Images

国债纸老虎

发自剑桥——大多数人对政府债务的忧心程度都比税负要高。 “几万亿可不是个小数目啊!”这句话形象地体现了我的一位朋友对英国国债的观感。不过他也有点夸大了:债务总额只有1.7万亿英镑(约合2.2万亿美元)。为此还有个网站专门搞了个债务时钟,显示国债正以每秒5170英镑的速度累加。虽然税收收入的规模远不及国债,但上一财政年度英国政府依然收到了7500亿英镑的巨额税金。税基也每分每秒在增长,只是没人有兴趣搞个时钟来记录罢了。

很多人认为,不管重税如何令人沮丧,政府收税来支付开支总要比借债来得更诚实一点。在他们看来借款形同于偷偷征税。“这么大笔钱该如何去偿还啊?”朋友问,“想想我们的孩子和孙子们吧。”

应该指出的是我的这位朋友年事已高了。老年人对债务尤其恐惧,也许是出于一种古老的观念,认为一个人是不该拿着负数资产负债表去见上帝的。还要补充的是这位老友受过顶尖的教育,也曾在公共生活中扮演过极为重要的角色。但对他来说公共财政仍是一个不解之谜:他在直觉上认为规模达万亿且每秒增加5170英镑的国债是一件非常糟糕的事情。

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/1SPoQRJ/zh;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.