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[翻译字幕]Economics Report - Debt Limit Talks Show Deeper Debate on Government's Duties

来源:慢速英语   时间:2011-07-15 09:53:51

经济报道 - 美国债务上限谈判凸显政府职能争议

This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.

这里是美国之音慢速英语经济报道。

Anyone who has ever borrowed money can relate to the debate over raising America's borrowing limit. People who have reached their limit can try to ask their bank to increase it, and go deeper into debt. Or they can cut their spending and try to get their finances under control. Or they can do both.

任何曾经借过款的人都可以牵扯到关于提高美国债务上限的辩论中。已经达到债务上限的个人可以尝试要求银行提高限额,从而陷入更深的债务中。或者他们也可以减少开支,尽量控制自己的财务状况。当然他们也可以两者同时进行。

Either way, they have to keep paying their bills. If they default on their debt, that only makes it harder and costlier to borrow in the future.

但无论选择哪种方式,他们必须继续偿付债务。如果他们出现债务违约,只会使将来举债更加困难,成本也更高。

Congress set the government's current borrowing limit at more than fourteen trillion dollars.

国会将美国当前的债务上限设定为超过14万亿美元。

President Obama and congressional leaders held hours of sometimes tense meetings this week at the White House. Opposition Republican leaders agree on the need to raise the borrowing limit by August second or risk the nation's first default.

本周,奥巴马和国会领导人在白宫举行了数小时会谈,期间数度剑拔弩张。反对党共和党领导人认可在8月2日前提高债务上限的必要性,否则将冒美国首次违约的风险。

The argument is over how to cut deficits. Most Republicans oppose any kind of tax increase. Most Democrats in Congress oppose big cuts in government spending, especially programs for retirees and the poor.

辩论焦点集中于如何削减赤字。大多数共和党人反对任何形式的增税措施。国会大多数民主党人反对大幅削减政府开支,尤其是离退休人员和穷人的福利项目。

Jerry Webman is chief economist for OppenheimerFunds, an investment company.

杰瑞·韦伯曼(Jerry Webman)是一家名为奥本海默基金的投资公司的首席经济学家。
 

From the left, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Speaker John Boehner share a smile with President Obama at the White House Thursday.

JERRY WEBMAN: "The central issue is how the US is going to bring its federal budget back down to a sustainable deficit level. We’re growing our deficit at a rate that I think everybody admits needs to slow. So the controversy is how do you do that.”

韦伯曼:“核心问题是美国将如何使联邦预算回落到可持续性的赤字水平。我认为大家都承认美国赤字的增长速度需要降下来。所以分歧在于如何降低赤字。”

He says the current debate has deep roots in the Constitution.

他表示,宪法是当前这场辩论的源头。

JERRY WEBMAN: "The Constitution that was written by people who were very, very suspicious of executive authority and built into the Constitution lots of ways in which the three branches of government could check and balance each other."

韦伯曼:“宪法制定者对行政权力高度怀疑,他们在宪法中制定了多种让政府三大分支机构相互平衡制约的方法。”

Those three branches represent the president, Congress and the courts.

这三个分支机构分别代表总统,国会和最高法院。

Researchers at the Library of Congress say Congress passed the first debt-limit law in nineteen seventeen. That was to control the costs of America's entry into World War One.

国会图书馆研究人员表示,国会于1917年通过了首部债务限制法案。这部法案出台的目的为了控制美国参加第一次世界大战的花费。

Jerry Webman says the United States is going through an important debate on what services Americans can expect from their government.

韦伯曼表示,美国正就政府如何人民进行一场重要的辩论。

JERRY WEBMAN: “I think we may be looking at one of those almost generational changes in the role of the federal government in US society.”

韦伯曼:“我认为,我们可能会看到联邦政府在美国社会中扮演角色的世代性变化。”

Lenders worried about the risk of not getting repaid usually demand higher interest rates. That has happened to heavily indebted countries such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

担心债务无法得到偿付的债权人通常会要求提高利率。这一幕在一些负债累累的国家已经上演,例如希腊、爱尔兰和葡萄牙。

JERRY WEBMAN: "Usually it is the bond market that says, ‘Wait a minute we’re not going to accept any more debt until we feel more confident in your credit.'"

韦伯曼:“通常债券市场会表示,‘等一下,我们不会再接受任何债务,直到我们对你的信用更有信心。’”

Interest rates for the United States, however, have come down.

然而美国政府的债务利率已经有所回落。

But on Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned lawmakers that lack of action to raise the borrowing limit would mean a lower credit rating. The central banker said that means the government could have to pay sharply higher interest rates. And that would only add to deficits in what he called a "self-inflicted wound."

但上周四,美联储主席伯南克警告国会议员,在提高债务上限方面行动迟缓可能会导致信用评级下降。伯南克表示,这意味着政府可能将不得不支付更高的利率。而这只会在这场他所谓的“自己造成的创伤”中增加赤字。

And that's the VOA Special English Economics Report. For more business news, go to voaspecialenglish.com. I’m Mario Ritter.

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