Bisogna tagliare la spesa e risparmiare i poveri

PARIGI – Perché alcuni governi spendono più di altri? La domanda è più complicata di quanto non sembri, soprattutto nel caso dei governi europei.

La risposta potrebbe sembrare ovvia facendo un confronto ad esempio con la Danimarca (dove la spesa pubblica, esclusi i pagamenti degli interessi sul debito, ammontava al 58% del Pil nel 2012) e con gli Stati Uniti (dove lo stesso dato corrispondeva al 35%). Gli ampi servizi pubblici e il vasto servizio previdenziale sembrano essere una spiegazione indiscutibile. I dati sembrano dare ragione alla famosa dichiarazione del cancelliere tedesco Angela Merkel secondo cui il problema è che l’Europa, con il 7% della popolazione mondiale e il 25% del Pil, assorbe il 50% della spesa sociale.

Considerata tale prospettiva, i governi europei devono far fronte a una scelta scomoda. Molti stanno cercando dei modi per contenere il livello di indebitamento pubblico, ridurre i deficit e tagliare la spesa senza gravare sui cittadini più poveri. Ma a giudicare dall’esperienza degli Usa e di altri Paesi non europei, potrebbero dover scegliere tra insolvenza e disuguaglianza. Avendo raggiunto il punto in cui le tasse non potranno essere aumentate ulteriormente, questi governi non possono ripagare i debiti e contemporaneamente mantenere la spesa sociale ai livelli attuali.

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