A Política Fiscal do Governo Lula em Perspectiva Histórica: Qual é o Limite para o Aumento do Gasto Público?
In 14 years, between 1991 and 2005, the primary expenditures of FederalGovernment have increased from 14% to 23% of Gross Domestic Product(GDP) in Brazil. This paper exposes a long description in an historicalperspective of the fiscal policy implemented during the Lula Administration, withemphasis on the changes occurred since the 80?s and on the continuity of thepolicies adopted after 1999. We try to compensate the lack of an analyticalframework based on a model, by emulating a literature rich in data and thatidentifies the dominant issues of the long term trends of the fiscal variables. Thepurpose is to offer a broad but relatively deep vision of the fiscal situation inBrazil in the middle of the current decade. Emphasis is put in: a) the lowestnumbers of PSBR since the indicator began to be collected in Brazil; and b) thetrajectory of the public debt/GDP ratio, with a moderate fall after 2002. In thenegative side of the balance, are shown: a) the new increase in theexpenditure/GDP ratio, repeating what is happening almost permanently sincethe beginning of the 90?s; b) the worsening of the Social Security problem; c) thenew increase of the tax burden; and d) the continuity of the budgetary rigiditiesand the low level of the public expenditures. The article also defends the necessityof putting a limit to the increase of the social expenditures. The evaluation of theLula Administration regarding the fiscal accounts is ambiguous, with a mix ofpositive elements with other far from being satisfactory, related to thesimultaneous expansion of expenditures and taxes, which is a typical case of theso-called ?spend-and-tax-policy?.
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