La crise et les règles françaises de gouvernance des finances publiques
In France, the public finances laws still ignore widely the issue of budget balance. The financial crisis makes this silence worrisome and numerous voices advocate for the establishment of a budget balance rule in the Constitution which would determine numerical limits to deficits. Nevertheless such a reform seems to be useless, difficult and insufficient. Useless, because the Maastricht treaty already fixes budget balance obligations. Difficult, because one can barely imagine how to impose constitutionnal sanctions regarding such technical issues. Insufficient, because instances of numerical fiscal rules evidenced that they did not succeed by themselves to change fiscal behaviors. Instead of these numerical rules, procedural rules are likely to be more efficient. They should aim at imposing consistency in the running of the whole consolidated public finances, at reinforcing multiyear management and at subordinating spending to resources. Enticing to responsible fiscal decisions, they would mitigate the casualness that too often marks, in France, the fiscal behaviour. JEL Classification codes: H61.
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