Pourquoi consolider ?

STANFORD – Partout dans le monde, les débats dans la sphère politique et les opinions publiques font rage et divisent quant à savoir s’il faut, et le cas échéant, quand, comment et jusqu’à quel point, réduire les lourds déficits budgétaires et les niveaux élevés de dettes souveraines. Chacun y va de ses mesures ou de ses propositions en matière fiscale, monétaire, de régulation et de dépenses, souvent diamétralement opposées. Consolider (le budget), ou ne pas le consolider, là est la question.

La gauche politique en appelle à plus de dépenses, plus d’impôts sur les hauts revenus, préférant reporter la consolidation budgétaire. L’économiste et éditorialiste du New York Times Paul Krugman propose par exemple d’attendre 10 à 15 ans. (Ces mêmes personnes avaient rejeté pour des raisons similaires les mesures de désinflation de la Réserve Fédérale, pourtant un succès, au début des années 80). La droite politique demande une réduction plus rapide du déficit par des coupes budgétaires.

En Europe, les responsables, dont la Banque Centrale Européenne, exigent la consolidation pour les pays fortement endettés, mais sont flexibles dans les négociations ; les électeurs, cependant, la rejettent – comme tout récemment en Italie. Aux Etats-Unis, les Républicains proposent d’équilibrer le budget en dix ans par une réforme des droits sociaux et des impôts (en limitant les exemptions, les déductions et le crédit garantissant les revenus nécessaires pour diminuer les taux d’imposition des particuliers et le taux des entreprises, qui est, à 35%, le plus élevé de l’OECD).

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