Paul Lachine

L’économie « vaudou » revisitée

WASHINGTON – Les dirigeants Démocrates et Républicains à Washington sont soudain pris d’une grande précipitation pour convenir du besoin d’une importante détente fiscale – qui affecterait non seulement les Américains de la classe moyenne, mais aussi les très riches (vivants et à leur mort). Cette éruption soudaine d’un consensus bipartisan attendu de longue date serait-elle l’indication qu’une Amérique nouvelle, plus forte, pointe à l’horizon ?

Malheureusement, c’est tout le contraire. Ce que nous observons est un accord par delà les clivages politiques sur une approche très dangereuse des finances publiques : une continuation et une extension de ce que le président George W. Bush avait mémorablement appelé « l’économie vaudou ». Ses conséquences sont sur le point de rattraper l’Amérique, et le monde.

Bush était en lice pour le ticket républicain contre Ronald Reagan en 1980. Reagan avait suggéré que les réductions d’impôts se paieraient d’elles-mêmes, c’est-à-dire qu’elles entraineraient une augmentation des revenus – une notion que l’on a appelé « politique économique de l’offre ». S’inquiéter de l’effet dissuasif d’impôts plus élevés n’est pas un problème en soi, mais la version extrême défendue par Reagan ne s’appliquait pas vraiment aux Etats-Unis. Lorsque vous réduisez les impôts, vous diminuez les revenus, ce qui gonfle plus encore le déficit budgétaire.

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