Paul Krugman und Obamas Aufschwung

NEW YORK – Seit mehreren Jahren – und häufig mehrmals im Monat – hat der Ökonomie-Nobelpreisträger, Kolumnist der New York Times und Blogger Paul Krugman seinen treuen Lesern immer wieder dieselbe zentrale Botschaft vermittelt: Die um einen Defizitabbau bemühten „Austerianer“ (Krugmans Bezeichnung für die Befürworter einer Sparpolitik) seien verblendet. Haushaltseinsparungen inmitten einer schwachen privaten Nachfrage würden zu chronisch hoher Arbeitslosigkeit führen. Tatsächlich würde eine Absenkung des Defizits eine Neuauflage des Jahres 1937 herausfordern, als Franklin D. Roosevelt die Konjunkturimpulse des New Deal vorzeitig zurückfuhr und dadurch die USA in die Rezession zurückwarf.

Und in der Tat haben der US-Kongress und das Weiße Haus seit Mitte 2011 einen Sparkurs verfolgt. Das Haushaltsdefizit des Bundes sank von 8,4% vom BIP im Jahr 2011 auf prognostizierte 2,9% vom BIP 2014. Zudem fiel laut Internationalem Währungsfonds das strukturelle Defizit – eine Messgröße für fiskalpolitische Impulse, die manchmal auch als „Vollbeschäftigungsdefizit“ bezeichnet wird – zwischen 2011 und 2014 von 7,8% auf 4% des potentiellen BIP.

Krugman hat lauthals protestiert, dass der Defizitabbau die Situation (die er wiederholt als „Depression“ oder manchmal als „mindere Depression“ bezeichnet hat) verlängert oder gar verschärft habe. Nur Narren wie die politische Führung Großbritanniens (die ihn an die drei Stooges erinnerten) könnten das anders sehen.

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