Mitt Romney en de vier tekorten van Amerika

BERKELEY – De Verenigde Staten worden geplaagd door vier tekorten: een begrotingstekort, een banentekort, een tekort aan publieke investeringen en een tekort aan kansen. De begrotingsvoorstellen, die door de Republikeinse presidentskandidaat Mitt Romney en zijn running mate Paul Ryan naar voren zijn geschoven, kunnen het begrotingstekort terugdringen, maar zouden de andere drie tekorten verscherpen.

Zeker, Romney en Ryan zijn er niet in geslaagd precies aan te geven hoe zij het begrotingstekort zouden willen terugdringen. Het is alsof ze willen zeggen 'vertrouw ons nou maar.' Maar de overkoepelende richting van hun voorstellen is helder: meer belastingverlagingen, waarvan de topverdieners onevenredig veel profiteren, in samenhang met aanzienlijk lagere overheidsuitgaven – met uitzondering van het defensiebudget -, waardoor alle andere burgers onevenredig zwaar worden getroffen en de groeivooruitzichten van de economie worden geschaad.

Ondanks dertig maanden van gestage werkgelegenheidsgroei in de particuliere sector worden de Verenigde Staten nog steeds geconfronteerd met een groot tekort aan banen. Het werkloosheidscijfer blijft ruim twee procentpunten boven 'normaal' (de situatie waarbij de economie bijna op volle kracht draait). Bovendien ligt het arbeidsparticipatiecijfer nog steeds in de buurt van een historisch dieptepunt.

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