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Trump et le déficit budgétaire américain

CAMBRIDGE – Selon un mythe né des lendemains de la crise financière, les gouvernements conservateurs favorables à l'austérité choisiraient toujours la voie de la prudence budgétaire, tandis que les gouvernements progressistes favorables à la redistribution considéraient l'endettement comme la recette miracle. Cette idée simpliste comporte une part de vérité, mais elle laisse de coté les véritables facteurs d'économie politique qui sous-tendent l'endettement.

Chaque fois qu'un parti arrive au pouvoir, il a tendance à emprunter pour financer ses priorités, sachant très bien que ce ne sera peut-être pas à lui de régler la facture. Telle est sans doute, conservatrice ou pas, la position de l'administration Trump : ne pas hésiter à creuser encore davantage le déficit budgétaire américain pour financer ses priorités en matière de réduction d'impôts et de hausse des dépenses.

Deux économistes italiens, Alberto Alesina et Guido Tabellini, et deux économistes suédois, Torsten Persson et Lars Svensson, ont proposé presque simultanément le cadre le plus adéquat pour appréhender les questions de déficit budgétaire dans les démocraties. Leurs approches ne sont pas tout à fait identiques, mais leur idée de base est la même : le gouvernement distribue de l'argent autant qu'il peut. Si par la suite l'argent vient à manquer lorsque l'opposition sera au pouvoir, c'est tant pis pour elle.

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