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CNN 2011-08-01

时间:2011-09-08 03:06来源:互联网 提供网友:gmeng   字体: [ ]
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 First things first: What is the debt ceiling, and why do we have to keep on raising it? Our Chief Financial Correspondent Ali Velshi takes just over a minute to explain it.

 
The debt ceiling is exactly the same as your credit limit on your credit cards, except it's for everything that you borrow. It's like having one super loan. The United States is one of the few countries in the world that, by law, they have to keep on voting to increase the credit limit. Most countries just continue to borrow more. 
 
So, the debt ceiling is the absolute top amount of money that the U.S. can owe to anyone at any given time. and it's about $14.3 trillion. So in order to raise that ceiling so the U.S. can borrow more money to keep things going, the debt ceiling has to be increased by Congress. This has happened many, many times before. It's usually fairly routine; this time it's not.
 
The U.S. actually hit the credit limit on May 16, but the treasury1 secretary has been able to keep the wolves at bay. He's been able to move piles of money around and basically keep us solvent2 until August 2nd. If we get to August 3rd and we've not raised the debt ceiling, somebody somewhere isn't getting paid.
 
And this is what we mean by that, by somebody not getting paid. These figures are for the month of August. 
 
The government will bring in about $172 billion, mostly from taxes. But to fund all of its programs, it'll need more than $306 billion. For decades, the government has spent more money than it has taken in, which is why we have debt and why it's so high. But if the government doesn't raise the debt ceiling, it would not be able to spend more than it has. 
 
That means some government programs wouldn't get all the money they need to operate. Now, these are the five goverment programs that require the most money. Medicare and Medicaid give medical care to the elderly and the poor. Social Security gives money to retired3 people. Add defense4 vendors5, who make military equipment, interest on investments, and money for the Education Department, and your total comes to $180 billion. 
 
That's just on the five costliest6 government programs, and it's already more money than the goverment would have! And if the government funded just these programs, people who work for the government wouldn't get paid. U.S. troops -- including those in Iraq and Afghanistan -- wouldn't get paid. Veterans wouldn't get benefits. Your parents might not get their tax refunds7 from the IRS. Federal highways might not get maintained. A whole bunch of stuff wouldn't get done. 
 
Now, this is a simplified example. It's unlikely that the government would give just a few programs all the money they needed and let others go without anything. The Treasury Department would probably spread a thin amount of the money it had over a lot of different areas, giving some programs maybe just enough to operate. But it illustrates8 two things. One: How much more the government spends than it takes in. And two: Why many people in the government want that debt ceiling to be raised so badly, so the government can continue borrowing the money it needs to pay for all of its programs in full. 
 
Things could change any minute. Congress is looking at a number of ways to raise the debt ceiling as we put this show together. So, check in with CNN.com every day to see if an agreement on how to do that has been reached and whether the debt ceiling has been raised. And I will see you again soon! Thank you for watching. I'm Carl Azuz for CNN Student News.

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 treasury 7GeyP     
n.宝库;国库,金库;文库
参考例句:
  • The Treasury was opposed in principle to the proposals.财政部原则上反对这些提案。
  • This book is a treasury of useful information.这本书是有价值的信息宝库。
2 solvent RFqz9     
n.溶剂;adj.有偿付能力的
参考例句:
  • Gasoline is a solvent liquid which removes grease spots.汽油是一种能去掉油污的有溶解力的液体。
  • A bankrupt company is not solvent.一个破产的公司是没有偿还债务的能力的。
3 retired Njhzyv     
adj.隐退的,退休的,退役的
参考例句:
  • The old man retired to the country for rest.这位老人下乡休息去了。
  • Many retired people take up gardening as a hobby.许多退休的人都以从事园艺为嗜好。
4 defense AxbxB     
n.防御,保卫;[pl.]防务工事;辩护,答辩
参考例句:
  • The accused has the right to defense.被告人有权获得辩护。
  • The war has impacted the area with military and defense workers.战争使那个地区挤满了军队和防御工程人员。
5 vendors 2bc28e228525b75e14c07dbc14850c34     
n.摊贩( vendor的名词复数 );小贩;(房屋等的)卖主;卖方
参考例句:
  • The vendors were gazundered at the last minute. 卖主在最后一刻被要求降低房价。
  • At the same time, interface standards also benefIt'software vendors. 同时,界面标准也有利于软件开发商。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
6 costliest 72fb0b90632e34d78a38994b0f302c1a     
adj.昂贵的( costly的最高级 );代价高的;引起困难的;造成损失的
参考例句:
  • At 81 billion dollars, Katrina is the costliest natural disaster in American history. “卡特里娜”飓风造成了近810亿美圆的损失,是美国历史上最严重的自然灾难之一。 来自互联网
  • Senator John Kerry has proposed a tax on the costliest health plans sold by insurance companies. 参议员约翰?克里(JohnKerry)已经提议对保险公司销售的高价值的保险计划征税。 来自互联网
7 refunds 0084ff716402199f733f841f5937d3ae     
n.归还,偿还额,退款( refund的名词复数 )v.归还,退还( refund的第三人称单数 )
参考例句:
  • Tomorrow he would return them to the store and claim refunds. 明天他要把它们退还给商店并要求退款。 来自辞典例句
  • The new method means that taxpayers get refunds much faster. 这种新办法意味着纳税人可以较快地领到退还款。 来自辞典例句
8 illustrates a03402300df9f3e3716d9eb11aae5782     
给…加插图( illustrate的第三人称单数 ); 说明; 表明; (用示例、图画等)说明
参考例句:
  • This historical novel illustrates the breaking up of feudal society in microcosm. 这部历史小说是走向崩溃的封建社会的缩影。
  • Alfred Adler, a famous doctor, had an experience which illustrates this. 阿尔弗莱德 - 阿德勒是一位著名的医生,他有过可以说明这点的经历。 来自中级百科部分
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