Die Kinder des Sparens

WASHINGTON, DC – Wenn Ökonomen über “Haushaltsanpassungen” sprechen, halten sie diese typischerweise für ein abstraktes und komplexes Ziel. Aber das Thema ist eigentlich sehr einfach: Wer trägt den Hauptteil der Lasten, die das Reduzieren des Haushaltsdefizits mit sich bringt? Entweder müssen Menschen mehr Steuern zahlen, oder die Ausgaben müssen zurückgehen – oder beides. Das Wort “Haushaltsanpassungen” ist Jargon – worum es bei Sparmaßnahmen immer geht, ist die Verteilung des Einkommens.

Große Teile Europas sind sich dessen natürlich schon bewusst. Nun ist Amerika an der Reihe. Und es gibt Anzeichen dafür, dass diejenigen, die am meisten von schrumpfenden öffentlichen Haushalten betroffen sind, die sind, die sich am wenigsten wehren können – relativ arme Kinder. Beispielsweise leiden unter den aktuellen Zwangssparmaßnahmen (d.h. umfassenden Ausgabenkürzungen) bereits jetzt Programme wie Head Start zur Unterstützung von Vorschulerziehung.

Der amerikanische Komiker Jimmy Kimmel machte sich kürzlich über das mangelnde Wissen seiner Mitbürger über Haushaltspolitik lustig, indem er auf dem Hollywood Boulevard Fußgänger fragte, was sie von Obamas Entscheidung hielten, “die Zwangskürzungen zu begnadigen und sie nach Portugal zu schicken”. Das ist komisch, aber auch traurig, da der Einfluss auf das Leben mancher Menschen sehr real ist. In Folge unseres haushaltspolitischen Kurses werden vermutlich etwa 70.000 Kinder den Zugang zu “Head Start” verlieren.

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