Les enfants de l’austérité

WASHINGTON, DC – Quand les économistes discutent « ajustement budgétaire », ils formulent généralement la question comme un objectif abstrait et complexe. Mais la question est en fait simple : Qui prendra en charge les frais des mesures visant à réduire le déficit budgétaire? Soit les impôts doivent augmenter pour certaines personnes, soit les dépenses doivent diminuer – ou les deux. Le terme « ajustement budgétaire » n’est que du jargon ; l'austérité porte toujours sur la répartition des revenus.

Une grande partie de l'Europe est déjà au courant de cela, bien sûr. Maintenant, c'est au tour de l'Amérique. Et là, les indications actuelles suggèrent que les personnes qui seront les plus directement touchées par les restrictions budgétaires sont celles qui sont les moins capables de se défendre – les enfants relativement pauvres. Par exemple, la séquestration actuelle du budget (c'est-à-dire, des coupes sombres dans toutes les dépenses) affecte déjà des programmes comme Head Start, qui soutient l'éducation préscolaire.

Le comédien américain Jimmy Kimmel a récemment raillé le manque de connaissances fiscales de ses compatriotes en demandant à des piétons sur le boulevard de Hollywood ce qu'ils pensaient de « la décision d'Obama de gracier le séquestré et de l'envoyer au Portugal. » Le segment est hilarant, mais aussi triste, parce que l'impact sur la vie de certaines personnes est très réel. Environ 70 000 enfants risquent de perdre leur accès à Head Start si la trajectoire budgétaire actuelle continue.

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