Brazilian economy adopted a set of economic policies known as “the macroeconomic tripod” after the foreign crisis at the end of the 1990’s. The main goal set for the fiscal policy in such context was the attainment of primary surplus. Such a guideline remained in use even after the Workers’ Party (PT) took over, despite their criticism to those measures. This article aims at analyzing the fiscal policy during the ten-year period (between 2003 and 2012) of PT’s government, based on the official data on public finances
and on the calculation of fiscal impact indicators. We conclude that the aim for primary surplus became more of a political dogma than a rational instrument of economic policy. As far as the impact of the public sector on the economic growth is concerned, we can not assure it has been contractionary, but in most of the years analyzed it did not contribute to a more robust growth either.
*PhD em Economia pela New School for Social Research, Professor do Instituto de Economia (IE) da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)
**Doutor em Economia pelo IE/UFRJ, Professor do Instituto Multidisciplinar (IM) da Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ)
***Doutor em Economia pelo IE/UFRJ, Professor da Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (Unisinos) e Pesquisador da Fundação de Economia e Estatística (FEE)