茶党最谦卑的提议

华盛顿——美国茶党的财政主张很简单:合众国已经破产了。实际并非如此——美国政府债券仍然是全世界最安全的投资之一,但这样的主张还是达到了效果:将联邦预算问题戏剧化并掀起了一场围绕美国当前债务水平的公共兴奋,从而使很多人相信,美国政府应该大幅削减支出,并且从现在就开始。

需要严肃讨论的正当财政话题不少,包括如何控制医保支出增长和如何使税收改革达到结构最优。但对共和党中的茶党派来说,小政府是压倒一切的第一要务:他们固执地认为,最重要的问题是,联邦税收岁入绝不能超过GDP的18%。追溯其历史渊源,其实茶党的先辈并不是1773年反英国、要求代表权的原始波士顿茶党,而是1794年反增税的威士忌叛乱(Whiskey Rebellion)。

最重要的是,茶党提出的方针已被证明对美国的财富具有极大破坏力。自从早些时候预算之争进入迟迟悬而未决的摊牌阶段以来,股市已经跌去了20%市值(大约10万亿美元)。事实上,茶党所采取的方法将极大减少当前和未来的私人财富,饶是如此,他们依然在费尽心思削减包括退休金和医保在内的依赖公共资金的社会福利项目。

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