Warum Konsolidierung?

STANFORD – Überall auf der Welt sorgen leidenschaftliche Diskussionen darüber, ob, wann, wie und um wie viel man die großen Haushaltsdefizite und das hohe Maß der Staatsverschuldung verringern solle, für Uneinigkeit in Politik und Öffentlichkeit. Diametral entgegengesetzte Ausgabe-, steuerliche, geldpolitische und regulatorische Strategien und Vorschläge mehren sich. (Den Haushalt) konsolidieren oder nicht konsolidieren – das ist hier die Frage.

Die politische Linke fordert lautstark mehr Ausgaben, höhere Steuern für Großverdiener und eine verzögerte Haushaltskonsolidierung. So schlägt etwa der für die New York Times schreibende Ökonom Paul Krugman vor, hiermit 10-15 Jahre zu warten. (Viele derselben Leute argumentierten aus analogen Gründen gegen die erfolgreiche US-Notenbankpolitik zur Senkung der Inflation Anfang der 1980er Jahre.) Die politische Rechte fordert eine schnellere Reduzierung des Defizits durch Ausgabesenkungen.

In Europa fordert die Politik, und auch die Europäische Zentralbank, eine Konsolidierung für hochverschuldete Länder, aber zeigt sich bei den Verhandlungen darüber flexibel; die Wähler jedoch lehnen sie ab – zuletzt in Italien. In den USA schlagen die Republikaner vor, den Haushalt innerhalb von zehn Jahren durch eine Reform der Leistungsansprüche und des Steuerwesens auszugleichen (um durch Abschaffung von Ausnahmen, Abzugsmöglichkeiten und Steuergutschriften die nötigen Einnahmen zur Senkung der persönlichen Steuersätze und der Körperschaftssteuer – mit 35% die höchste in der OECD – zu erzielen).

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