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[经济报道]话说美国债务上限危机

2014-03-20    来源:普特英语听力    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.

There has been a lot of talk about the debt ceiling in the United States. The debt ceiling is a legal limit on the amount of money the federal government can borrow. Political disputes over that amount have concerned investors in recent weeks.

Alexander Gelber is an assistant professor of public policy at the University of California in Berkeley. He says American lawmakers must negotiate a new debt ceiling everytime the federal debt reaches that legal limit.

"The debt ceiling is a limit on the amount that US Treasury can borrow, and that limit needs to be raised by congress periodically."

National debt is necessary when a government spends more money than it has available. Governments offer bonds and other investments to raise money to pay for the spending. In return, the government promises to repay investors who buy the securities.


The financial demands of World War I led American lawmakers to establish a total debt limit. In 1917, congress agreed that the president could borrow up to a set amount without seeking congressional approval.

Congress has agreed to change the debt limit 10 times since 2001. But the major parties have yet to agree on spending levels or on the need to borrow to pay for government operations.

Other nations buy United States Treasury department securities because they are considered the safest investment in the world. The partial shutdown of the federal government led to worldwide concern about the safety of these investments.

The debt ceiling was supposed to reach the legal limit last week. Without power to borrow more, the government would have been unable to pay investors who owned Treasury department securities.

Professor Gelber says the possibility of the United States failing to pay its debts caused concern around the world.

In recent years, disputes over spending and debt limits have led to delays in congressional approval of a budget and in raising the debt ceiling.

Last week, only 1 day before borrowing reach the legal limit, congress agreed to re-open the government without enforcing the debt ceiling.

Lawmakers agreed to let the president decide what the Treasury department could borrow through February 7th. Congress approved a budget to operate the government through January 15th.

The president and congress must now negotiate a new spending plan and another debt limit in order to avoid another crisis.

文本来源于普特论坛[report整理] SENEWS-2013-11-01


这里是美国之音慢速英语经济报道。

美国债务限额引发了很多谈论,债务上限是指联邦政府允许借款的法定限额。近几周,就债务上限发生了政治分歧,投资者对此甚是担忧。

Alexander Gelber是加州大学伯克利分校公共政策的助理教授,他表示一旦联邦债务达到法定限额,美国立法者就必须重新商定新的债务上限。

“债务上限限制了美国财政部允许借贷金额,该上限必须由国会定期提高。”

当政府开支超过其所有时就需要发行国债。政府发放债券等投资手段集资用于开支。作为回报,政府承诺偿还购买债券的投资者。

第一次大战时的融资所需使得立法者设立了一个总的债务上限。1917年,国会同意总统不经国会批准,允许借贷到设定限额。

自2001年以来,国会已经10次通过修改债务上限,但是,就开支水平或支付政府运行所需资金,主要政党并未达成共识。

其他国家购买美国财政部债券是因为他们认为这是全球最保险的投资。联邦政府临时停摆导致全世界开始担心这些投资的安全系数。

美国债务上限原本于上周达到法定限额。失去借贷能力,政府将无法偿还投资财政部债务的投资者。

Gelber教授称美国无法还债的可能性造成全球的恐慌。

近几年,针对开支和债务上限的争议导致国会延迟批准预算并提高债务上限。

上周,就在达到法定限额的前一天,国会同意在未执行债务上限的情况下重启政府。

立法者同意由总统决定2月7日前财政部的借贷限额。国会批准一份预算使政府运作到1月15日。

总统和国会必须现在商定新的开支计划及新的债务限额以避免再次危机。



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