Een alternatief begrotingsmedicijn?

BRUSSEL – Vergeet de 'fiscal cliff' ('begrotingsafgrond' - de automatische belastingverhogingen en bezuinigingen die de Amerikaanse economie in een nieuwe recessie kunnen storten). Het werkelijke probleem is de 'fiscal mountain' ('begrotingsberg'). Volgens het Internationale Monetaire Fonds is de uitdaging om de verhouding tussen de staatsschuld en het bruto binnenlands product (bbp) naar een veiliger niveau terug te brengen voor de meeste geavanceerde landen ontmoedigend.

In Europa worstelen veel regeringen, die zijn gaan bezuinigen toen hun economieën nog zwak waren, met de gevolgen voor de groei. Als gevolg hiervan lijkt de stabilisering van de staatsschulden een steeds moeilijker te verwezenlijken doelstelling.

In de VS is de bezuinigingswoede nog maar nauwelijks losgebarsten. Omdat de particuliere economie daar nu is aangesterkt, kunnen bezuinigingen profiteren van de gunstiger omstandigheden voor de groei, maar de omvang van de noodzakelijke besparingen – meer dan tien procent van het bbp, aldus het IMF – is schrikwekkend. In Japan is tot nu toe niets gedaan, zodat de omvang van de vereiste inspanningen iedere verbeelding tart.

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