Le budget aux Etats-Unis confronte deux idéologies : celle de la réduction des impôts au profit des plus riches et celle de l'augmentation de ceux-ci aux dépens des plus riches. L'affrontement se fait entre les deux Institutions de référence aux States : Le Président de la République (démocrate, la gauche) et le Congrès (républicain, la droite).
Voici un avant gout du feu d'artilleries lourdes qui se prépare pour vendredi :
Budget Battles: Tax and Spending, Myths and Realities
Here are two numbers to keep in mind when thinking about the House Republicans’ budget plan: They want to cut spending (réduire les dépenses) on government programs over the next decade by $4.3 trillion. And they want to cut tax revenues (réduire les recettes fiscales) over the same period by $4.2 trillion.
Government spending needs to be brought under control. But slashing (sabrer) vital services just to pay for more tax cuts (réduction d'impôts) is bad public policy (politique) and bad economics (mauvaise gestion économique).
It won’t fix (réduire) the deficit, no matter what the Republicans claim (affirment).
We’ve seen this play before. President Ronald Reagan promised that tax cuts (reductions d'impôts) would spur (apporter) more economic growth and pay for themselves. During his tenure, the deficit hit (atteint) what was then a peacetime high (seuil) of 6 percent of gross domestic product (PIB), and he eventually decided that he had no other alternative but to raise taxes to try to close the gap (l’écart, le gouffre).
The Clinton years disproved the notion that higher taxes would inevitably stifle (étouffer) economic growth, or cost politicians their jobs. Taxes were raised in 1993, including higher income tax rates on the wealthiest (les riches). The economy was strong, and the stock market (la bourse) surged (était en hausse). Taxes were then cut in 1997 in a deal with the Republican-controlled Congress, but by then the combination of higher tax rates on the wealthy, a strong economy and a rising (forte hausse) stock market was boosting revenues significantly.
By the end of President Bill Clinton’s term, the federal budget had been in surplus for four straight years.
President George W. Bush and Congress undid (défirent) that progress with $1.65 trillion in tax cuts, heavily skewed (fortement dirigés) to high earners (vers les grands propriétaires). The economic recovery (redressement) of the Bush years was extraordinarily weak (faible) by historical standards. By early 2009, shortly before Mr. Obama took office, the Congressional Budget Office projected a budget deficit for that year of more than $1 trillion.
These are the economic facts, which Americans need to hear. The Republicans certainly won’t tell anyone. And, so far, the Democrats haven’t had the political courage to challenge them head-on.
President Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal-year 2012 does call for a mix of tax increases and tax cuts, but he hasn’t made a serious effort to explain the need for substantially more revenue.
The bigger test will come on Wednesday, when Mr. Obama presents a long-term deficit reduction alternative (une alternative à la réduction du deficit sur le long terme) to the Republican proposal. It must include significant sources of revenue (recettes), as well as defense cuts and a long-term plan for bringing spending on health care (plan à long terme pour porter les dépenses de santé) and other entitlements (prestations) in line with revenues (recettes).
As a matter of fairness (c’est une question d’équité), raising income taxes must start with requiring (solliciter) the richest Americans — who have been the biggest beneficiaries of Bush-era tax cuts — to pay more. But even that won’t dig the country out of its hole (meme cela ne suffira pas à sortir le pays de son “trou”). The middle class is also going to have to pay higher taxes. That is the only way to pay for needed services (services necessaires, publics?), tackle (lutter contre) the deficit and slow the borrowing (diminuer le coût de l’emprunt) and the rise in interest payments (hausse du paiement des interêts).
That means higher income taxes further down the income scale than Mr. Obama has previously called for (Cela signifie des impôts sur le revenu supplémentaires tout en haut de l’échelle des revenus ; "down" ayant un sens de “verticalité” ici), and new sources of tax revenue (recettes fiscales), like energy taxes or a financial-transactions (transferts de titres boursiers) tax or a value-added tax (taxe sur la valeur ajoutée).
Those details are the easy part. More than anything, Mr. Obama must change (recentrer) the political debate, by rebutting (en réfutant), once and for all, the tax-cuts-above-all ideology (l’idéologie de la réduction d’impôts pour tous) that has gotten this country into this deep mess (désordre, pétrin, bourbier profond).
Here are a few more numbers to consider : Stimulus spending since Mr. Obama took office — including tax cuts (réduction d’impôts) — accounts for (représentent environ) about $600 billion of the current $14.2 trillion in accumulated debt. The Bush-era tax cuts coupled with major new spending (nouvelles dépenses majeures) for two wars and a Medicare drug benefit (les allocations des médicaments “Medicare”, là je ne sais pas si on parle du medicament "Medicare" ou tout simplement du poids de la sécurité sociale équivalent de “social security benefits”), have added $3.2 trillion to the debt.
Mr. Obama must make the case for tax increases, based on reality, not ideology. Then, and only then, can a serious debate on the deficit begin.
Source : The New York Times, mercredi 13 Avril 2011.