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经济学人:绝非易事(1)

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LIKE most sins, tax breaks are easier to condemn than to resist. Politicians regularly decry the inefficiency and complexity that tax breaks introduce to the overall tax system, while merrily adding to the pile. Bill Clinton created the child tax credit. George W. Bush slashed the rates on capital gains and dividends. Barack Obama created a new “American Opportunity” credit for university expenses while showering temporary tax benefits on renewable energy companies, homebuyers and employers who hired the unemployed.

如同对待众多罪恶一样,税收减免谴责易,抵制难。政客们常常一边大声谴责税收减免使得整个税收系统变得低效而冗杂,一边乐此不疲的引入更多减免政策。比尔克林顿创造了儿童课税津贴,乔治W.布什大幅削减了资本利得和股息的税率。巴拉克奥巴马设立一种新的为大学花费所设的“美国机会”津贴的同时,他对可再生能源公司,买房者和雇佣失业人员的公司也提供大量暂时性的税收优惠。
These exemptions, deductions and credits (collectively known as “tax expenditures”) will cost America’s Treasury some $1.1 trillion in forgone collections this year, reckons Donald Marron of the Tax Policy Centre (TPC), a research group. The figure climbs to $1.3 trillion when forgone payroll taxes and the cash outlays for refundable credits are included. At around 6% of GDP, they are up sharply from 4.6% in 1990. Eliminate tax expenditures, and a big chunk of the deficit would vanish.
根据一家调查组织,税收政策中心的唐纳德马兰所说,今年,这些免税,减税,补助(合计称为税收支出)将使美国财政部放弃1.1兆美元的税收。若将放弃的工资税和可退税收抵免的现金支出包括在内,这一数字将攀升至1.3兆美元。在1990年,税收支出大约占据了4.6%的国内生产总值,如今,这一比率骤升至6%。倘若消除税收支出,将减少大笔赤字。
Tax expenditures now look likely to play a central role in the economic debates that are raging in this year’s election. Mitt Romney has promised to slash personal and corporate rates and pay for the cuts by eliminating tax expenditures. To fend off accusations that his plan is fiscally irresponsible and a giveaway to the rich, he has promised that it would not add to the deficit or favour the rich over the poor and the middle class.
如今看来,税收出入似乎在今年越演越烈的总统竞选中的经济辩论里扮演了重要角色。米特罗姆尼承诺将削减个人和公司税率并通过消除税收支出来支付税收削减。有人谴责他的计划财政上并不可行,作为应对,罗姆尼承诺这一计划既不会增加赤字,也不会偏向富人,而不顾穷人和中产阶级。
A closer examination of tax expenditures, however, suggests that achieving those two goals will be difficult. The TPC reckons his plans would cost $500 billion-900 billion in 2015, depending on how the amounts are calculated. Although in aggregate there are enough tax expenditures available to cover those cuts, the totals are deceptive. For one thing, Mr Romney’s lower rates would automatically reduce the value of any tax expenditures he chose to eliminate. That is because taxing previously sheltered income yields less revenue when rates are lower. For another, Mr Romney has already ruled out touching some tax expenditures, such as the research credit, and others are highly unlikely to be eliminated, such as the fact that disabled workers don’t pay tax on some of their social security benefit.
然而,进一步审视税收支出表明,达到这两个目标并不容易。税收政策中心声称,根据计算数量的方法不同,罗姆尼的计划将在2015年花费5000亿至9000亿美元。尽管税收支出总计足够支付这些削减,这些总量是具有欺骗性的。就一方面来说,罗姆尼更低的税收政策将自动减少他选择消减的税收支出的价值。这是因为先前的税收政策对收入免税,在税率更低时税收收入就更少了。再者,罗姆尼已经将一些税收支出排除在外,不太可能消减诸如研究补贴税收支出,还有比如残疾工人并不为他们享有的一些社会保障福利缴税。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
complexity [kəm'pleksiti]

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n. 复杂,复杂性,复杂的事物

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previously ['pri:vju:sli]

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adv. 先前,在此之前

 
unlikely [ʌn'laikli]

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adj. 不太可能的

 
aggregate ['ægrigeit,'ægrigit]

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n. 合计,总计,集合体,集料 adj. 合计的,集合的

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corporate ['kɔ:pərit]

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adj. 社团的,法人的,共同的,全体的

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calculated ['kælkjuleitid]

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adj. 计算出的;适合的;有计划的 v. 计算;估计;

 
treasury ['treʒəri]

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n. 国库,宝库 (大写)财政部,国债

 
social ['səuʃəl]

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adj. 社会的,社交的
n. 社交聚会

 
deceptive [di'septiv]

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adj. 迷惑的,虚伪的,诈欺的

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inefficiency [.ini'fiʃənsi]

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n. 无效率,无能

 


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