Tim Brinton

Los negacionistas del estímulo

BERKELEY – De todas las cosas que han ocurrido este invierno, quizás la más extraña haya sido el surgimiento de una oposición a gran escala en el Partido Republicano a la iniciativa de la administración Obama para evitar que el desempleo en Estados Unidos supere el 10%. No hay duda de que si John McCain hubiera ganado las elecciones presidenciales en noviembre, un paquete de estímulo de gasto deficitario muy similar al plan de Obama -quizás con más recortes impositivos y menos aumento del gasto- habría avanzado por el Congreso con apoyo unánime de este partido.

Como dijera N. Gregory Mankiw de un paquete de estímulo en 2003, cuando era el asesor económico en jefe del Presidente George W. Bush, no hay que ser un genio para comprenderlo: el gasto deficitario en una recesión, dijo, ampquot;ayuda a mantener la demanda agregada de bienes y servicios. No hay nada nuevo en esto. Se trata de una política de corto plazo muy convencional que se puede encontrar en los principales manuales de economía...ampquot;

Puedo entender  (aunque no estoy de acuerdo con ellos) a quienes se oponen al plan de estímulo por creer que la situación no es tan grave, que el gasto del gobierno será lento y derrochador (mientras que los recortes impositivos, cuando se diseñan adecuadamente, pueden ser un estímulo más eficaz) y que, por tanto, habría sido mejor rechazar la propuesta de estímulo de Obama e intentarlo nuevamente en un par de meses.

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