经济学人双语版:预算,真正的战斗打响了

The budget预算 The real fight begins真正的战斗打响了

As a government shutdown looms, an attempt to grapple with America’s long-term deficit problems is at last under way

政府关门之危迫在眉睫,最终总算有人挺身而出解决美国长期的赤字问题了

CONGRESS may not be very good at passing budgets, but that is not for lack of discussion of them. This week it was by three overlapping budgetary debates: about a “continuing resolution” to keep the government up and running for the rest of this fiscal year, about next year’s budget and about whether to raise the legal limit on the federal government’s debt. Lawmakers have just under six months to sort out next year’s budget, and under six weeks before America’s debt reaches the current ceiling. But without a new resolution, the government’s authority to spend will expire at midnight on April 8th, forcing much of it to shut up shop. As The Economist went to press, the Republicans who run the House of Representatives, the Democrats who run the Senate and Barack Obama himself were holding last-ditch talks, but also warning their staffs to prepare for a shutdown.

国会可能并不是很擅长通过预算,但这并不是因为议员之间缺乏讨论沟通。本周国会将同时忙于三场关于预算的辩论:有关“延续性决议”的辩论,以维持政府运转直至本财政年度结束;有关下一年度预算的辩论;有关是否应提升联邦政府债务法定上限的辩论。立法人员仅有不到六个月的时间整理下一年度的预算,更是仅有不到六周的时间美国的债务就到达当前的上限了。但在没有新决议的情况下,政府开支之权将在4月8日午夜12点废止,政府大部分部门将被迫关门。截至本期《经济学人》付梓之时,共和党控制的众议院、民主党控制的参议院及贝拉克·奥巴马总统本人在举行最后的会谈,同时也警告各自职员为政府关门做好准备。

This cliffhanger is the culmination of months of fiscal bickering, punctuated by stopgap continuing resolutions。 Since February the Republicans have been holding out for $61 billion in cuts to this year’s budget, including assaults on favoured Democratic causes such as public broadcasting (see article)。 The Democrats argue that their proposal is too extreme, too political, and too narrowly focused。 The previous two continuing resolutions, which had lifespans of two and three weeks respectively, were intended to allow the two sides enough time to hammer out a compromise for the rest of the year。

这一悬念标志着数月以来关于财政的争吵,在“延续性决议”这一权宜之计的推波助澜下达到顶峰。自二月份以来,共和党人一直坚持削减本年度财政预算610亿美元,包括攻击民主党倡导的、备受民众欢迎的众多事业,例如公共广播项目(见文章)。民主党则认为共和党人的建议苛刻、政见强烈、目光狭隘。前两个延续性决议分别为期2周和3周,目的是为双方提供足够的时间达成妥协,度过本财政年度剩余的几个月。

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