Absolutely, though this is difficult for politicians do actually do.
There’s a clear parallel with the ‘independent central bank’ idea - when politicians controlled interest rates, they would always drop them artificially low coming up to an election, temporarily letting inflation get out of hand. Everyone expected this, so investors always required a premium to cover this little eventuality. Now the central banks are supposed to ignore such political considerations, and use merely economic indicators, such as the ECB targetting inflation and the Fed using a combination of economic indicators, and as a result, the inflation premium demanded by investors is lower - this lowers the average long term interest rate, and is (normally anyway) a good thing.
I’d be firmly of the opinion that fiscal policy should be managed in the same way - an independent body should be established that requires (or at least recommends) a budget balance of a specific amount - demanding a surplus during good times, and allowing a deficit during the bad times. They would be able to make the ‘sustainability’ call on various tax revenue streams, and hopefully would thus be able to avoid the ‘empty the piggybank for the election’ mentality.
Political motivations will always ruin it, unless there is a strong independent voice (even if the government can technically ignore them, they will be less likely to).
True - but external circumstances largely defined the two ends. FF bloated the public sector based on one-off tax revenues almost every year, not merely in election years - an even more extreme kind of stupidity, if you will.
FG missed a massive opportunity on this one - they could have been the ‘reliable’ party, who told it was it was, even when things looked good. Instead they went into an election promising to be a cleaner FF at best, so they look even worse than FF now.
At this stage, something like the ECB (even if not binding) on the fiscal side would be best - looking at each country in depth, taxes and spending, and figuring out where things were going. Such an organisation would have a real voice - even if it could just demand that a government be dragged up on front of the EU commission and shamed.