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作者: 来源: 日期:2016-11-14 9:00:40

Leader_The right lesson to draw from Ronald Reagan





Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter,” US vice-president Dick Cheney told Paul O’Neill in 2002, when the Treasury Secretary expressed doubts about a round of tax cuts. Donald Trump appears set to test whether the proof still holds — if it ever did.

“里根证明了赤字并不重要,”时任美国副总统迪克•切尼(Dick Cheney)2002年告诉财政部长保罗•奥尼尔(Paul O'Neill),当时后者对新一轮减税提出质疑。唐纳德•特朗普(Donald Trump)似乎要试验这一点是否仍然成立——如果它曾经成立过的话。广州经济翻译公司。


His victory has already prompted nostalgic references to Ronald Reagan — whose election in 1980 was greeted with similar scepticism. The comparison is flawed by big changes in the US and global economies in the intervening 36 years. But if there is one area where Mr Trump’s approach most resembles that of his predecessor, it is fiscal plans likely to lead to a huge rise in the US deficit.

特朗普的胜利已引起了人们怀旧地把他与罗纳德•里根(Ronald Reagan)相提并论,里根在1980年当选之初也曾受到类似怀疑。这36年间美国和全球经济的巨大变化,意味着这种对比是有缺陷的。但如果说特朗普有一个最接近他的前任的地方,那就是他的财政计划很可能导致美国财政赤字飙升。


Mr Trump’s comments on the campaign trail simply do not translate into a coherent economic plan. His angry rhetoric on trade and hostility to the Fed’s stimulus policies are consistent with a wide range of policies, some alarming and some much less so.



He has, however, made concrete and repeated commitments to tax cuts, on both personal income and corporate profits. He has also promised higher defence spending and a huge burst of investment in infrastructure, to “rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals”.



He asserts his economic plan will put millions into work and double the US growth rate. That is questionable, especially given indications that the US economy is now close to full employment. The consequences for US public finances are, by contrast, incontrovertible. Mr Trump’s unfunded tax cuts could add more than $5tn to the US federal debt by 2026, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

他断言自己的经济计划将让数百万人获得工作,并使美国的增长率翻倍。这是有问题的,尤其是在迹象表明美国经济已接近充分就业的情况下。相比之下,对美国公共财政带来的后果是不容质疑的。据美国尽责联邦预算委员会(Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget)估算,至2026年,特朗普提出的没有资金着落的减税计划可能新增逾5万亿美元美国联邦债务。广州经济翻译公司。


There is a strong case for a shift in the balance of monetary and fiscal stimulus, with fiscal measures — well-targeted spending on infrastructure in particular — taking more of the strain. Indeed, Hillary Clinton might have proposed something similar. But if the shift appeared likely to result in a large increase in the US deficit, it would bring higher inflation and a rise in borrowing costs in its train. This, in turn, has implications for monetary policy.

有很好的理由对货币和财政刺激的平衡作出改变,让财政措施——特别是有针对性的基建支出——肩负更大重担。的确,希拉里•克林顿(Hillary Clinton)或许也会提出类似建议。但如果这种改变貌似会大幅推高美国财政赤字,那么它将带来更高的通胀以及借款成本增加,进而对货币政策造成影响。


The obvious response would be for the Federal Reserve to adopt a tighter stance. Indeed, if Mr Trump dislikes the post-crisis era of ultra-low interest rates, putting his fiscal plans into practice would hasten the process of policy “normalisation” at the Fed, without meddling in the bank’s affairs directly.



This combination of looser fiscal policy and a tighter monetary stance is not compatible with reaching his growth target in any sustainable way. And it would be disastrous to replace Janet Yellen, Fed chair, when her current term expires, with another compliant enough to take his target seriously.



Moreover, far better than worsening the US long-term fiscal position with permanent tax cuts would be for Mr Trump to reframe his proposals into a broadly revenue-neutral tax reform package. This is what President Reagan advanced in his second term.



Mr Trump’s plans on personal taxation are indefensible. They would bring very modest benefits to the middle income voters he claims to represent, and large gains to the richest. There is, however, a good case for cutting the rate of corporation tax to a level that is more competitive internationally. But this should be accompanied by reforms to broaden the tax base, eliminate tax loopholes, and encourage companies to repatriate the estimated $1tn to $3tn they hold stockpiled abroad.



Of course, much will depend on how Mr Trump’s plans are viewed by the Republicans who will control Congress, and on his choice of Treasury Secretary. Here, his instinct may be to appoint a weak candidate and run economic policy from the White House. This would be a mistake. The new president needs a strong cabinet that can command the respect of markets and international interlocutors.



Despite the huge uncertainties unleashed by Mr Trump’s victory, there is a broad set of measures including tax reform, infrastructure investment and a greater emphasis on fiscal stimulus that could add up to a coherent — if not ideal — economic policy. Such measures have implications for the rest of the world, especially emerging markets vulnerable to a rise in US borrowing costs. But it could be compatible with continued growth in the world’s most important economy. As with so much of what Mr Trump does, the worry is that his urge to excess will win out over conciliation.