为什么光有财富税是不够的

美国剑桥—发达国家应该实施财富税以作为中期稳定和减少公共债务的手段吗?通常较为保守的国际货币基金组织(IMF)出人意料地非常支持这一看法。据IMF计算,快速而出乎意料地一次性征收10%的财富税可以让许多欧洲国家的债务/GDP比率回到危机前水平。这是一个颇有吸引力的想法。

财富税的道德问题在今天比以往更具紧迫性,因为如今的失业率仍处在衰退水平,而深刻的经济不平等正在挑战社会规范。此外,如果真能确保财富税为临时性税种,那么从原理上说,该税比提高边际所得税率所造成的扭曲作用更小。不幸的是,尽管财富税可能是帮助一国走出财政泥淖的可靠方法,却难以成为万灵丹。

首先,来自临时性财富税的收入可能难以计算。经济学家巴里·艾肯格林(Barry Eichengreen)曾探索过两次世界大战后资本税的构成。他发现,由于资本外逃和推迟执行的政治压力,结果通常令人失望。

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