《经济学人》:美国众议院的茶党成员
日期:2012-01-12 10:03

(单词翻译:单击)

SINCE the 2010 mid-term elections, tea party Republicans have enjoyed influence out of proportion to their numbers. They forced Barack Obama and congressional Democrats to accept spending cuts without any tax increases to keep the government from shutting down in April, 2011, and from defaulting on its bills in August.
自2010年中期选举以来, 茶党共和党人享有了与其人数不相符的强大影响力。在他们的坚持下,总统奥巴马和民主党国会议员被迫在去年四月和八月间,在不增加任何税收的前提下消减开支,以免联邦政府停摆,避免债务毁约。

This intransigence, however, backfired rather spectacularly just before Christmas when John Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives, was forced to reverse his earlier position and agree to an extension of a two-percentage-point cut in the payroll tax and to the payment of unemployment benefits for up to 99 weeks.
但就在圣诞节前夕,茶党成员这种绝不妥协的态度却弄巧成拙,不得不狼狈收场。众议院议长约翰. 博纳被迫更改初衷,同意延长对工资税消减百分之二的法案。延长让失业者可以在最多99周内领取津贴的政策。

Both measures, previously agreed to as a form of temporary stimulus, were due to expire at the end of the year. Mr Obama and Republican leaders had earlier agreed to extend both for one more year, but not on how to pay for them. To buy more negotiating time, Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate agreed to extend the two measures for two more months.
这两项经济刺激举措,原本只是权宜之计。本应在去年年底失效。总统奥巴马和共和党党魁在早些时候同意将这两项举措再延长一年。但在如何支付由此产生的费用上,未能达成一致。为了争取到更多的协商时间,国会众的两党头领同意先延长两个月。

In the House, however, tea-party members revolted. Some said that setting tax policy for just two months was silly, others claimed that stimulus does not work anyway, and yet others warned of (non-existent) threats to pensions, which are funded by the payroll tax. Democrats wasted no time in claiming that the Republicans were holding 160m workers hostage to extremists. Under intense pressure from fellow Republicans in the Senate and in the presidential campaign, Mr Boehner finally relented. The measure passed on December 23rd without so much as a roll-call vote.
然而,众议院的茶党成员却不干了。有些人称为期两个月的税收政策是愚钝之举。还有些人称此举对经济复苏毫无意义。更有甚者,提出警告。由于养老金出自工资税,而消减工资税便将威胁到养老金(此说法纯属无中生有)。民主党人就地反击,声称共和党人要把全美一亿六千万在职员工劫持为人质,把他们推向极端。迫于参议院及总统竞选阵营中共和党同僚所施加的巨大压力,博纳先生终于扛不住了。去年12月23日,延长工资税消减法案得以通过,连一次唱名表决都没有。

The deal lifts, if only for a couple of months, one shadow over the economy and thus Mr Obama’s re-election prospects. Recent data have shown the economy to be perking up notably in the fourth quarter; it may have grown 3.6% in the period, reckons Macroeconomic Advisers, a consultancy. That would be the fastest rate since mid-2010. If the two measures, worth roughly 1% of GDP, had expired, the economy could have relapsed in 2012.
这次协议至少在几个月内暂时移除了美国经济上方的阴影,也因此提高了奥巴马赢得连任的机会。最近的数据表明,美国经济在第四季度大为好转。宏观经济咨询公司给出的增长率数值为3.6%,为2010年中期以来的最高值。如果这两项总价值约占美国国民生产总值1%的经济刺激举措期满失效,那么2012年的美国经济可能会再次显出疲态。

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重点单词
  • previouslyadv. 先前,在此之前
  • unemploymentn. 失业,失业人数
  • prospectsn. 预期;前景;潜在顾客;远景展望
  • intenseadj. 强烈的,剧烈的,热烈的
  • reversen. 相反,背面,失败,倒档 adj. 反面的,相反的,
  • paymentn. 支付,付款,报偿,报应
  • extensionn. 伸展,延长,扩充,电话分机
  • temporaryadj. 暂时的,临时的 n. 临时工
  • campaignn. 运动,活动,战役,竞选运动 v. 从事运动,参加竞
  • intransigencen. 不妥协,不让步