The political debate in the electoral campaign is filled with superficial speeches, overcharged with self-praise and criticism towards oppossing candidates. In contrast, ignorance and complacency about important issues prevails. Particularly relevant is the deterioration of the public educational system. Citizens support a record tax burden in order to sustain the high increase in public investment in education. But this effort is wasted due to low educational quality management.
Between one-fourth and one-third of formal employees pay the income tax. But taking into consideration the workers in the informal segment of the labour market, who generally perceive low wages, the impact of the income tax is reduced to only 10% of the total workforce. In this context, by trying to downsize the incidence of the income tax without first reducing unproductive government expenditure -like the one which is being proposed by the opposition- is a regressive change in the tax system since it necessarily leads to an increase in the burden of other anti-poor taxes, such as the inflation tax, that relies heavily in the budget of the poor households.
In the last decade, Argentina has suffered an unprecedented setback in its oil production capacity. This has happened due to the systematic application of irrational regulations such as prohibitions, privileges, inadequate taxes and nontransparent subsidies. In this context, the YPF-Chevron agreement is neither the “salvation” nor a “surrendering” to foreign interests, but the continuation of the bad results since the same logic of wrong regulations is still present. In order to reverse the failure and achieve positive results better rules are needed.
One of the most widely accepted policies in Argentina is the Universal Child Allowance. Government authorities claim it to be a major achievement and the opposition has no criticism, except some formalities like it was not approved by law but by an inferior norm, as a decree. Both parts overlook that, because of its rudimentary design, it is probably a social scheme that promotes the intergenerational reproduction of poverty rather than a sustained process of social progress. Other countries’ experiences and the finding obtained locally suggest that there are elements of the design and the management of the program that should be improved.
The high rate of money creation to finance the growing fiscal deficit has eroded the pesos’ value. Creating the CEDIN, the government is trying to impose an alternative domestic currency denominated in dollar searching to moderate the natural tendency of the population to use dollars instead of pesos. But the chances of success are low, not because of the opposition of some provincial governments, but the lack of confidence in the national government. The same reasons that destroyed the peso are the ones that now put in doubts the viability of the CEDIN.