Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Who is to blame for the public debt?

June 7th, 2011

Prime Ministers of the past thirteen years each blame the increase in the debt on one another. But why is it important in the first place to investigate who is responsible, if all of them acknowledge that the high debt level is a serious problem? A conservative blogger wonders.

Prime Minister Orbán identified debt and unemployment as the twin enemies of this country. “If public debt is indeed our enemy, then all those who are responsible for  increasing it are our enemies”, writes Szabolcs Panyi.

Not only Orbán, but his three Socialist predecessors also identified indebtedness as a major problem. And each blamed the others for the growing debt, the conservative blogger adds. Péter Medgyessy (PM 2002-2004) argued that among his successors, Ferenc Gyurcsány is primarily responsible for the increase. Gyurcsány (PM 2004-2009) blamed his predecessors, including Orbán. According to Gordon Bajnai (PM 2009-2010) all the others, and according to Orbán (PM 1998-2002, and 2010-) his Socialist predecessors should be held responsible for budget imbalances.

But the facts are actually quite clear, Panyi notes. Public debt was cut from 90 percent of the GDP in 1993 to 52 percent in 2001, and last year it peaked above 80 percent. Based on these numbers Panyi finds it charming that the four prime ministers, “who either deliberately contributed to its increase, or did not do enough to prevent its growth, are now stunned by the level of public debt”.

It is important, nonetheless, to investigate who is responsible for the debt, and to what extent, Panyi suggests. “If we do not identify what went wrong, if we do not clearly state what should never be repeated, we may easily get into trouble again. If we do not identify who is responsible for the indebtedness, we may give them another chance to repeat their  mistakes.”

In conclusion Panyi summarizes the views of the former PMs. If one adds up those opinions, it becomes apparent that Ferenc Gyurcsány and Péter Medgyessy should shoulder the main blame.

Tags: , , , ,