Cite JOURNAL ARTICLE
Staatsverschuldung ohne Ende?
Credit and Capital Markets – Kredit und Kapital, Vol. 12 (1979), Iss. 4 : pp. 472–503
Unending Public Debt?
The extraordinarily high, new public borrowing in recent years essentially reflects the budgetary consequences of a public finance policy which, under the gathering clouds of a completely new, deep-rooted growth and employment crisis, had to be framed to meet that challenge successfully. Under the given macroeconomic conditions, it therefore seems remarkable that in the public debate stress was laid primarily on the supposed risks and not first and foremost on the tangible successes of that borrowing. The widespread reproaches and fears that rapid growth of public indebtedness would impart new impetus to inflation and result in the crowding out of private borrowers are in manifest contradiction to the facts. Moreover, the thesis unrelentingly championed by the Council of Experts that the greatly increased public deficits had lamed private willingness to spend and thus at least impaired the success of expansion-oriented public finance policy, if not had a counterproductive effect, seems extremely questionable. Grounds for criticism might be found at best in the fact that that policy was not pursued sufficiently consequentially. In principle, however, the debt policy pursued since 1974 must be rated unequivocally as positive from the standpoint of economic policy. There was no alternative. This is demonstrated by all indicators relating to the development of the national product, employment and the revenue of public authorities. Insofar as public financing deficits are the expression of automatic stabilizations effects, they will diminish of their own accord as utilization of the production potential increases still further. The indications in this direction are relatively favourable at present. However, special efforts are needed to consolidate the deficits deriving from anticyclical, tax and expenditure policy decisions. On the one hand, the trend: of current, and in particular of personnel expenditures must be kept under as rigid control as possible. On the other hand, however, in the medium run - if public expenditures are to increase further - application of the taxation lever must not be precluded either. | In the final analysis, the extent to which public borrowing can be reduced depends solely on the situation and development of our national economy. The better the productive forces are utilized, the more the government loses the right, but also simultaneously the obligation, to take command of available resources by borrowing
Table of Contents
|Wilhelm Nölling: Staatsverschuldung ohne Ende?||472|
|Zusammenfassung: Staatsverschuldung ohne Ende?||500|
|Summary: Unending Public Debt?||501|
|Résumé: Dette publique sans fin?||502|