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Lo stupore delle prese elettriche

Jeffrey Sachs: coscienza liberal sì, ma senza deficit cronici.

Era il 2014 e Jeffrey Sachs sosteneva, in polemica con Paul Krugman, che l’austerità aveva dato buoni frutti negli Stati Uniti e che comunque anche lui voleva una quota maggiore di -un-certo-tipo-di-spesa pubblica sul pil, ma senza che questo implicasse deficit cronici di bilancio.

Well, Congress and the White House did indeed play the austerian card from mid-2011 onward. The federal budget deficit has declined from 8.4% of GDP in 2011 to a predicted 2.9% of GDP for all of 2014. And, according to the International Monetary Fund, the structural deficit (sometimes called the “full-employment deficit”), a measure of fiscal stimulus, has fallen from 7.8% of potential GDP to 4% of potential GDP from 2011 to 2014.

To be clear, I believe that we do need more government spending as a share of GDP – for education, infrastructure, low-carbon energy, research and development, and family benefits for low-income families. But we should pay for this through higher taxes on high incomes and high net worth, a carbon tax, and future tolls collected on new infrastructure. We need the liberal conscience, but without the chronic budget deficits.

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