经济学人:共和党的预算草案
日期:2012-03-27 13:54

(单词翻译:单击)

THE Republican majority in the House of Representatives called its budget proposal The path to prosperity: A blueprint for American renewal. Whether it would live up to that billing we will never know, as Democratic opposition in the Senate will prevent it from being enacted. But by recanting on the budget deal they struck with the Democrats last year, and by renewing pledges to slash spending and overhaul popular government programmes, the Republicans have certainly paved the path to partisan rancour and Democratic attack ads.
美国众议院中的共和党大多数派称其预算草案为通往繁荣之路:美国复兴的蓝图。我们可能永远不会知道共和党能否实行得了这个议案,因为参议院的民主党会阻止这个议案被颁布。但是,通过去年宣布放弃为打击民主党而制定的预算案,和提出重新削减开支并彻底改革大众的政府计划,共和党必定已铺平了与民主党竞争的道路。


The plan, unveiled on March 20th by Paul Ryan, the chairman of the Budget Committee, is similar to the one he put forward last year. It aims to cut spending by more than $5 trillion over the next decade relative to the budget the president proposed last month. That would bring the deficit to below 2% of GDP by 2015, and the budget into balance by around 2040.
这个预案是由预算委员会主席保罗•瑞恩于3月20日提出的,与其去年提出的预案相似。相对于上月总统提出的预算而言,此预案计划削减五万亿美元的开支。这将使赤字到2015年时降到不到GDP的2%,使预算在2040年左右达到平衡。
The proposal would also dramatically cut taxes for businesses and individuals—a move it claims could be paid for by eliminating exemptions and deductions. It also rehashes Mr Ryan’s scheme to stop the government paying directly for health care for the elderly via Medicare, and instead hand out that could be used to buy private insurance. But to ease suspicions that this is simply a ruse to foist rising costs on blameless grannies, Mr Ryan now says that the vouchers could be used to remain in a version of the current Medicare programme; this, however, may cost people money if competition from private providers succeeds in undercutting Medicare.
这项提案也会大幅度削减企业所得税和个人所得税——并宣称会通过消除免税额和扣除额来补偿这部分税款。在这项提案中,瑞恩先生改变了原计划阻止政府通过医疗保险向老年人直接支付医疗保健费用,而是建议发放可以用来购买私人保险的抵用券。但是为了避免让人怀疑这是蒙骗无辜老人钱的伎俩,瑞恩先生现补充说抵用券可能以一种形式存在于目前的医疗保险规划中。然而,如果私人保险企业之间的竞争促使他们廉价出售医疗保险,可能会让人们花很多钱。
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office calculates that the proposed spending cuts are even more swingeing this time round. Only Social Security (the public pension scheme) would remain on its present trajectory. The projected growth in Medicare would be crimped, while outlays on Medicaid, the government health-care scheme for the poor, would be halved as a share of GDP by 2050. Everything else (such as foreign aid, assistance to veterans and federal funding for schools and roads) would be cut by over two-thirds.
中立的国会预算局预测此次提议的开支削减要更严厉。只有社会保障制度(公众退休金计划)得以正常运行。医疗保险原计划的增长可能会缩减,然而作为GDP一部分,医疗补助计划的开支和政府为穷人制定的卫生保健计划到2050年可能会被缩减一半。其他内容(如国外援助,对退伍军人的援助及向学校和道路发放的联邦基金)则可能缩减2/3。
Democrats are delighted that Mr Ryan is returning to the limb he put his party out on last year, when House Republicans overwhelmingly backed his budget proposal only to be lambasted by Democrats for ending Medicare as we know it and prioritising tax cuts for the rich over benefits for the poor. A Democrat who stuck to that script won a by-election in what had long been a safe Republican seat in upstate New York last year. The party has already launched a similar campaign this year, denouncing the Republicans’ Medicare madness. Republicans, for their part, insist that their forthright stance, in contrast to the Senate Democrats’ failure to pass a budget for the past three years, will earn them respect from voters. Mitt Romney, the probable Republican nominee seems to agree: he has heartily endorsed Mr Ryan’s approach.
民主党乐见瑞恩先生又使共和党像去年那样重新陷于困境,那时议院共和党人以压倒性的姿态支持他的预算草案,却被民主党以正如我们都知道的那样会终结医疗保险制度和以削减富人缴税为先而不是造福于穷人为理由痛斥。一位民主党人去年因坚持这份提案而赢得了递补选举,稳稳地称为了纽约北部的一名共和党人。民主党今年又发起了一场类似的竞选,公开谴责共和党是医疗保险制度疯子。对于共和党人来说,则坚持认为他们鲜明的立场会为他们赢来选民的尊重,这与参议院民主党人三年都未能通过一项预算形成鲜明对比。大有希望的共和党候选人米特•罗姆尼似乎非常同意这点——他热切支持瑞恩先生的提案。
Whatever the plan’s electoral merits, it has also set off a more obscure but potentially even more significant battle within Congress. It attempts to unpick the deal sealed last year by the president, the House and the Senate to raise the limit Congress imposes on government debt in exchange for spending cuts. The Republicans are now proposing cutting $19 billion more next year than agreed. They also want to undo part of the fail-safe mechanism that was supposed to induce both parties to compromise on a scheme to reduce the deficit. If no agreement was reached, spending dear to both sides (on defence, in the Republicans’ case, and on almost everything else, in the Democrats’) was to be cut by $1.2 trillion. No deal has been reached, but Mr Ryan’s plan calls for the military cuts (alone) to be restored.
不管这个提案的竞选优点是什么,它都已经引发了一场更隐晦却更具有潜在意义的国会内部争斗。它试图重提去年总统否决的提案,参众两院以提高国会补助政府债务的限额交换开支削减计划。共和党现在提出下一年度比原定多削减190亿美元;他们也想取消部分容错机制,该机制被认为会诱使两党为降低赤字在某个计划上达成妥协。如果打不成任何协议,两党高昂的开支(共和党为了防卫;而民主党则出于其他目的)将被削减1万2千亿美元。目前尚未达成任何协议,但是瑞安先生的提案已提出恢复(单独)裁军。
The Democrats in charge of the budgeting process in the Senate have already declared any departure from the debt-ceiling deal unacceptable. But plenty of Republicans in the House feel that Mr Ryan is not going far enough. That sets the stage for another fiscal showdown when the current fiscal year ends on October 1st, a month before elections in which all members of the House, a third of senators and the president all face the voters.
参议院中负责预算编制过程的民主党人已宣布任何违背债务限额的提案是不被接受的。但是众议院中的许多共和党人认为瑞恩先生并没有很严重的违背这点。这为当前财年于10月1号结束后的下一个财政决战铺了台阶,而在那时后的一个月里,所有众议院的成员,1/3的参议员和总统都得直面选民。

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重点单词
  • departuren. 离开,出发,分歧
  • popularadj. 流行的,大众的,通俗的,受欢迎的
  • prosperityn. 繁荣,兴旺
  • campaignn. 运动,活动,战役,竞选运动 v. 从事运动,参加竞
  • preventv. 预防,防止
  • schemen. 方案,计划,阴谋 v. 计画,设计,体系,结构,图
  • restoredadj. 精力充沛的;精力恢复的 v. 修复(resto
  • currentn. (水、气、电)流,趋势 adj. 流通的,现在的,
  • decaden. 十年
  • majorityn. 多数,大多数,多数党,多数派 n. 法定年龄