Donald Trump standing alongside Gary Cohn, Steve Mnuchin, Elaine Chao and  Mick Mulvaney Drew Angerer/Getty Images

美国的庇隆主义减税派

华盛顿—说一个国家。它的领导人怒“怼”外国人,树立各种进口壁垒,还为他所偏爱的行业推动低利率和各种便宜信贷。政府债务已经很高了,但这位掌了权的所谓的强人仍决定提高预算赤字,从而增加更多债务,说这能够让繁荣达到此前无法达到的水平。政府声称代表普通老百姓,但国家合同都给了“朋友圈”。

The Year Ahead 2018

The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

Order now

答案当然是,这是庇隆及其多位继任者治下的阿根廷。庇隆在1946—1955年间掌权(以及1973—1974年再度短暂掌权)。这个在1900年前后跻身世界最富裕行列的国家,因为几十年来的不可持续的经济政策而衰落,这些政策让人们在短期感觉良好,但最终以灾难收场,引发诸如失控的通胀、金融危机和时不时的债务违约等事件。(澄清:今天的阿根廷的经济政策已经大不相同,深度的最新分析我推荐我的同事阿尔贝托·卡瓦洛(Alberto Cavallo)的工作。)

但如果你的答案是特朗普总统治下的美国,也不算太离谱。有理由担心美国现在正走在此前被称为拉丁美洲民粹主义的道路上

以共和党在财政责任上的“翻脸”为例。过去,众议院金融服务委员会(Financial Services Committee)听证室里有一个国民债务钟,当这个钟向上走动时,共和党就会批评政府乱花钱。最近,我去这里参加听证时,这只钟正在“修理中”。

米克·马尔瓦尼(Mick Mulvaney,前众议员,现任国会预算办公室主任,负责政府财务)等自称的“财政保守派”们眼看就要实施大规模减税了,尽管他们知道这将提高赤字和国民债务。马尔瓦尼和他的同事们对此毫不在乎。

尽管控制着国会两院和白宫,但共和党仍然因为内部分歧而难以有所作为。结果,他们无法通过削减税收支出(对诸如公司借贷、按揭融资和退休储蓄等各种活动的激励)来“支付”减税。但共和党铁了心一定要大幅减税,主要原因是他们的“金主”要求他们实施减税。因此,美国的预算赤字必然还会变得更大。

曾经,事实在华盛顿还挺重要,至少有点用。但在特朗普时代不再如此,至少在税收问题上不再如此。相反,特朗普的策略是理直气壮地说瞎话,说人们愿意相信的话,对任何拿出相反证据的人,无情地加以鞭挞。

在《火烧白宫》(White House Burning)第三章中,郭庾信(James Kwak)和我回顾了2001年小布什实施减税后所发生的事情。关于减税政策,小布什做出了很大的承诺,包括说减税能够帮助大部分美国人。但尽管减税确实让富人变得更富了,却并没有证据表明它们带来了更快的增长或提高了中产阶级的收入。反之,它们提高了预算赤字,也大大增加了美国国民债务(到2010年,达到了3万亿美元左右),这削弱了政府响应危机的能力,不管是从国家安全角度还是从金融动荡角度。

我多次在国会参与财政政策问题的听证。在2008—2009年金融危机期间,共和党显然是对事实感兴趣的。但情况很快就起了变化,特别是在众议院。事实上,那位以最明确的态度告诉我,他对哪怕只是略微令人不快的事实也没有任何兴趣的众议员,即凯文·布雷迪(Kevin Brady)如今身居众议院筹款委员会(Ways and Means Committee)主席。该委员会在税收政策方面起着关键作用。

参议院金融委员会资深民主党议员罗恩·韦登(Ron Wyden)将共和党提出的减税方案称为“中产阶级骗局”。他算是嘴下留情了。

共和党可能支持的公司税减税方案不会大幅提振工资。国会研究局(Congressional Research Service)在描述众议院议长保罗·瑞恩(Paul Ryan)所提出的整体蓝图时指出,“该计划的预估产出效应颇为有限,可能为负。”

税收政策中心(Tax Policy Center)在将共和党方案的所有可能的积极效应都考虑进去后总结道,联邦政府“税收收入将在第一个十年下降2.4万亿到2.5万亿美元,在第二个十年下降大约3.4万亿美元。”

特朗普政府对这类基于事实的理智分析的反应是人们可以预料到的:粗鲁地顶回去。

特朗普时代的美国民粹主义尽管承诺要给工作阶级带来巨大收益,其实只能惠及已经跻身富裕行列的人。平心而论,这与庇隆可能的构想完全不符。但是,不负责任的民粹主义的结果永远是相同的。

http://prosyn.org/xSFQe4U/zh;

Handpicked to read next

  1. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

    The Summit of Climate Hopes

    Presidents, prime ministers, and policymakers gather in Paris today for the One Planet Summit. But with no senior US representative attending, is the 2015 Paris climate agreement still viable?

  2. Trump greets his supporters The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Populist Plutocracy and the Future of America

    • In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently sold out the blue-collar, socially conservative whites who brought him to power, while pursuing policies to enrich his fellow plutocrats. 

    • Sooner or later, Trump's core supporters will wake up to this fact, so it is worth asking how far he might go to keep them on his side.
  3. Agents are bidding on at the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

    The Man Who Didn’t Save the World

    A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food.

  4.  An inside view of the 'AknRobotics' Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Two Myths About Automation

    While many people believe that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically, there is no evidence of either trend. In reality, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technical change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the US and across the advanced-country world.

  5. A student shows a combo pictures of three dictators, Austrian born Hitler, Castro and Stalin with Viktor Orban Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

    The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies

    The Hungarian government has released the results of its "national consultation" on what it calls the "Soros Plan" to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

  6. Project Syndicate

    DEBATE: Should the Eurozone Impose Fiscal Union?

    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European leaders to appoint a eurozone finance minister as a way to ensure the single currency's long-term viability. But would it work, and, more fundamentally, is it necessary?

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now