Stimuler l’égalité

NEW YORK – Compte tenu de l’augmentation du chômage aux Etats-Unis et dans les autres pays de l’OCDE, la création d’emplois est l’une des priorités des gouvernements. Aux Etats-Unis, le président Obama a proposé d’augmenter les dépenses publiques de près de 600 milliards de dollars au cours des deux prochaines années pour créer quatre millions d’emplois environ. Mais Obama est également soucieux d’inverser une nette aggravation de l’inégalité des revenus (qui est aujourd’hui à son point le plus haut depuis 80 ans). Est-il possible pour les dirigeants d’accomplir ces deux tâches en même temps ?

La réponse est  oui , sans équivoque, mais seulement s’ils mettent l’accent sur les dépenses gouvernementales et non sur la réforme des systèmes fiscaux. Ceci vaut plus encore pour d’autres économies avancées comme l’Allemagne et la France, qui consacrent une proportion plus importante de leur PIB aux programmes sociaux (35 et 43 pour cent, respectivement, en 2005) que les Etats-Unis (seulement 25 pour cent).

Le système fiscal américain est étonnamment peu performant du point de vue de la redistribution. Si l’on se base sur les revenus globaux – revenu salarial, plus-values totales sur les avoirs, loyers imputés sur les logements occupés par les propriétaires, allocations sociales non monétaires, et consommation publique – les impôts sur le revenu sont généralement progressifs.

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