For the French government, it is more than ever urgent to convince everyone that the State deficit is moving in the right direction and the public debt is sustainable. In the context of an uncertain future for the French credit rating triple A note, the present debate on the budget of the State for the coming year and the austerity measures it includes became a really hot issue. The initial project of budget for 2012 has been already adopted by the Financial Commission at the French National Assembly and is now being discussed by the deputies.
The world is probably going to change after the recent downgrading by Standard&Poor’s of the US debt rating from triple A to AA+. Beyond the disturbing loss of the landmark Treasuries represented for global finance, what is important here is the awareness that even the biggest world economy is not allowed anymore to do just anything with public spending. The message is clear. The current crisis is actually giving the opportunity to put the political genie back in the bottle. It is now time to grasp this chance, but will political decision makers have the will to do it?
The levels of public deficits in new member States are more worrying than it looks but a tax rate increase is no solution—the case of Slovakia
In Slovakia, the economic growth has been one of the strongest in the EU over the period 2004-2008 and it came with soaring tax revenues. This growth itself was the by-product of several important reforms, especially the tax reform. It was based on real investments, not on speculation on real estate markets or inflated construction sector. After the 2008 crisis, the relatively low Slovak debt of 35.4% GDP does not attract as much attention as countries around the Mediterranean Sea or Ireland.
There is a growing call by backers of bigger government for Congress to impose a value-added tax (VAT) on top of all the other taxes Americans already pay. A VAT is similar to a national retail sales tax but is collected at every stage of business production until its entire burden ultimately falls on the consumer.