Argumentos a favor del estímulo fiscal

CAMBRIDGE – Los gobiernos de todo el mundo están preparando planes de estímulo fiscal en gran escala que provocarán déficits presupuestaros sin precedentes en época de paz. Es probable que el déficit fiscal de este año en los Estados Unidos supere el 10 por ciento del PIB. Una parte importante del aumento del déficit se deberá a una gran diversidad de nuevos gastos públicos.

En circunstancias normales, yo me opondría a ese aumento del déficit presupuestario y del nivel de gasto público. Cuando una economía se aproxima al pleno empleo, el endeudamiento estatal para financiar déficits presupuestarios puede expulsar la inversión privada que aumentaría la productividad y el nivel de vida. Los déficits presupuestarios aumentan automáticamente la deuda pública, por lo que hacen falta impuestos mayores para pagar sus intereses. Los mayores tipos impositivos resultantes distorsionan los incentivos económicos y, por tanto, debilitan los resultados económicos futuros.

Naturalmente, cierto gasto público es deseable o necesario, pero un aumento de los desembolsos públicos supone con frecuencia un derroche que produce menos valor que el que obtendrían los consumidores con los mismos dólares.

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