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The question actually put (see results (pdf)), was (my translation):

If France had to reduce its debt and public deficits, would you prefer that it be done principally

  • by strongly reducing its (ie the country's) spending
  • by strongly increasing taxes
  • no reply

I somehow find that "strongly" predisposes to answer reduce spending.

Of course, if it's not stated that it's "schools, hospitals, and pensions", but just "France", people will tend to envisage spending cuts as less champagne and petits fours.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 11:50:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When the experience of the past few years indicates that reducing spending doesn't reduce deficit and debt...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 12:02:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
People are thoroughly indoctrinated. Nobody is aware of what you say, everybody has got the message that raising taxes is bad.

I can't help thinking, though, that if the word "fortement" had been left out, the distribution would have been less markedly anti-tax. Even less so if the fiscal advantages Sarko has granted to the wealthier were mentioned as being top of the list for change.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 12:15:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Miesenmeister der Welt, schaut auf Deutschland! - Debt masters of the world, look to Germany!
Fast alle Industriestaaten ächzen unter enormen Schulden, ihr Problem: Die Staatseinnahmen sind viel zu niedrig. Pleitestaaten müssen jetzt die Steuern erhöhen - auf ein ähnliches Niveau wie in der Bundesrepublik. Ein Gastbeitrag des Wirtschaftsweisen Peter Bofinger.Almost all developed countries have enormous debts. Their problem: government revenues are too low. Insolvent countries have to raise taxes now - to a level comparable to Germany. A guest column by economic council member Peter Bofinger.

Actual and hypothetical budget balance 2011 of selected OECD members (% of GDP)
Rank Country Actual Balance Balance for German levels of revenue Balance for EU-average-level of revenue
1 Irland -10,1 -2,3 -0,7
2 Vereinigte Staaten -10,1 1,9 3,5
3 Japan -8,9 3,1 4,7
4 Großbritannien -8,7 -6,9 -5,3
5 Neuseeland -8,5 -3,0 -1,4
6 Griechenland -7,5 -6,2 -4,6
7 Spanien -6,3 0,8 2,4
8 Portugal -5,9 -4,3 -2,7
9 Polen -5,8 -2,6 -1,0
10 Slowenien -5,6 -6,1 -4,5
Quelle: OECD

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Thu Aug 11th, 2011 at 11:12:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German economists do not understand three-sector national accounting. Film at 11.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 12th, 2011 at 05:26:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And taxes in countries like the Uniteds states and Ireland are to low. Only neo-liberal nutters deny this.
by IM on Fri Aug 12th, 2011 at 11:06:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed they are, but raising them would not reduce the sovereign deficit, given a commitment to full employment fiscal policies. And if the private sector is deleveraging - as is presently the case - not even without such commitment.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 12th, 2011 at 12:06:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]