Sobre o “debt ceiling”

Para os mais desatentos, nesta altura, verifica-se um “braço de ferro” entre a administração Obama e o Cãmara dos Representantes (e mesmo dentro do Partigo Republicano) acerca do aumento do limite de endividamento autorizado ao governo federal (debt ceiling). O Professor Michael McConnel diz algo que me parece óbvio. A questão essêncial do debate está claramente descentrada do problema essêncial.

The debt ceiling is a different problem than the debt. Some observers seem to think that the nation’s fiscal difficulties are caused by the debt ceiling, and that if only Congress would increase the ceiling all would be well. This is a misconception. The debt ceiling issue presents a liquidity problem; the debt itself presents a solvency problem. Debt rating agencies would surely be concerned if the Treasury slipped up on an interest payment because of a cash crunch. But the longer-term, more difficult, and more important problem is the rising level of spending and debt, which limits the futures of our children and grandchildren, stifles economic growth today, and puts into question, for almost the first time since Alexander Hamilton, the ability of the nation to service the public debt. Whatever the resolution of the current debt ceiling controversy, it is imperative that Congress bring spending back down to levels consistent with our ability to pay.

E não me venham com o argumento que os EUA precisam de gastar (ainda) mais (quanto?) para sair da recessão.

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