López Obrador's decisions to open the presidential residence to the public and auction luxury vehicles are part of the implementation of Republican austerity. Among other measures, the president has also decided to sell the presidential plane and fly in economy class on commercial flights, lower the salary by 40%, reduce the salaries of hierarchical officials, cancel life pensions for former presidents and eliminate the State Presidential Major (the Mexican equivalent of a presidential guard).
The question is whether these gestures are more symbolic than substantial. Critics of the government believe that its most significant decisions may backfire. According to the researcher of the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness Ana Thaís Martínez, the cancellation of the airport could end up costing Mexican taxpayers billions of pesos.4. The Whatsapp Mobile Number List of public servants will make it more difficult to attract and retain the talent necessary to carry out the tasks of government effectively. And it is not self-evident that more visible anti-corruption policies can truly reduce corrupt practices without additional institutional efforts. That the president flies economy class is a powerful symbol of his commitment to living modestly, but it does nothing to alter the political economy of the old regime.
There is a certain irony in making republican austerity an alternative to neoliberalism, given that fiscal austerity has been an anchor of the neoliberal economic policies put in place by previous governments. However, the Morena government emphasizes that Republican austerity does not mean reducing public spending, but readjusting budget items to benefit the most disadvantaged. In the past, public spending in Mexico increased inequality in income distribution, rather than reduced it.