Argentina continues to accumulate years of fiscal deficit despite having more than 165 taxes
Between 2003-2019, public spending increased by 387%, going from US $ 36,442 million to US $ 177,621 million. Meanwhile, GDP per capita in the same period shows an average of US $ 9,747 million and in 2019 it is around US $ 8,617 million. At this time, Argentina was characterized by always doing the same thing: increasing public spending (measured in dollars). And the result was not adequate since the GDP per capita (also measured in dollars) did not accompany the upward destination of public spending.
Iván Cachanosky, chief economist at the Fundación Libertad y Progreso warned that “in view of Argentina’s delicate fiscal situation, the government in power opts once again to increase taxes. On this occasion, the debate centers on the tax on large fortunes. Again, the focus is far from a credible and healthy reduction in public spending ”.
Only in the period 2003-2008 could a slight improvement have been speculated, which actually responded more to a boom in the price of commodities than to its own virtues. Then, starting in 2009, Argentina’s GDP per capita did nothing but stagnate. The solution to get out of the decline is not to collect more taxes, but to reduce public spending.
The 2019 devaluation further aggravated the situation, generating a correction with social and macroeconomic consequences. Argentina has higher taxes than some developed countries but the services it provides is from an underdeveloped country. The drop in GDP per capita also has its correlate in poverty that has been increasing. Argentina has chosen to increase public spending and with it taxes, which has led to more poverty. Cachanosky points out that “it is not about redistributing wealth, but about people (especially those in vulnerable situations) being able to create wealth.” The economist points out that “for this to happen, Argentina must maturely consider how to address the pending structural reforms that allow reducing both public spending and tax pressure that generate incentives to project.”