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2009年春高级口译阅读训练(1)《奥巴马时代》

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In a two-party system, both parties need to be capable of governing, of having some long view of the central challenge -- which, arguably, in our case remains the financing challenge of the American welfare state. John McCain may not be much of an economist and hasn't adopted the "ownership society" as his slogan, but his health-care plan falls right in with tradition on the center right -- a spectrum that once included Bill Clinton -- of invoking a new role for individual responsibility and individual choice in making the welfare state work.

在两党体系下,两个党都需要具备统治力,要能够对核心挑战提出长远观点,而值得商榷的是,在我们这种情况下,这种核心挑战仅剩下对美国福利国家地位的金融挑战。约翰·麦凯恩可能不是个好的经济学家,也没有接受“所有权社会”作为自己的口号,但是他的卫生保健计划正好符合了中右传统,这一传统的范围曾经包括了比尔·克林顿,它主张在保持福利国家正常运转的过程中为个人责任和个人选择赋予新的角色。

Democrats, in contrast, never really tell us where they want us to go. That hasn't been the Democratic way and Mr. Obama, in this, is a perfect Democrat -- as opaque on the big question as his party has been. Al Gore let on that he favored a single payer health-care system only two years after he lost the White House. Politics -- simple politics -- instead has been Democrats' governing philosophy, and Mr. Obama is, again, the perfect heir.

相比之下,民主党实际上从来没有告诉我们他们希望我们何去何从。这可不是惯常的民主作风,而奥巴马先生由于和他的党一样对重大问题态度模糊而成了完美的民主党人。艾尔·戈尔直到在争夺白宫总统宝座失利两年后,才透露说他支持一个单一付款人的卫生健康系统。权术,仅仅是权术,取而代之成为民主党的统治哲学,而奥巴马又正是其最佳继承者。

In an interesting piece of work, economist Henning Bohn has forecast the future voting propensities of an aging electorate based on two things: how much in taxes a median voter would expect to pay until retirement, and the present value of his or her expected Social Security and Medicare benefits.

在一篇有趣的文章中,经济学家海宁·波恩基于以下两点对逐渐老龄化的选民的未来投票倾向进行了预测:中间年龄段的选民预期到退休前将支付的税款,他或她预期将获得的社会保险和医疗保险的现值。

His conclusion: It will make financial sense for the median voter to vote for higher taxes on his remaining working years and on younger people in order to secure his benefits.

他的结论是:如果中间年龄段的选民为了确保自己的利益而选择投票支持对他的剩余工作年限和对更年轻的人征收更高的税,那从金融方面是讲得通的。

If he's right, Democrats need to say only one thing when running for office -- and that's nothing intelligible about the funding dilemma of the welfare state or the need to address it. Mr. Obama has evidently learned his politics well. This week, he told Time Magazine's Joe Klein that, after the current financial crisis, "a new energy economy . . . That's going to be my No. 1 priority when I get into office."

如果他是对的,民主党人在竞选公职时只需说一件事情- 这个福利国家的融资困境不是那么容易理解的,无需多言。奥巴马先生显然深悟此道。本周他告诉时代杂志的乔·克莱恩,在现在的金融危机结束之后,“一个新的能源经济…将成为我就职后首先要考虑的事情。”

This is a cipher, an air sandwich. Mr. Obama here affords himself a placeholder for a priority to be named later. He knows that such impractical, centrally planned "energy revolutions" have been preached by candidates and op-ed writers for decades, only to be forgotten after inauguration day in favor of less rhetorical agendas.

这等于零,一个空中三明治。在这一点上奥巴马先生为自己日后才会公布的优先权留了一个预留位置。他知道尽管这样一个不切实际、自上而下设计的“能源革命”被历届总统候选人和时事评论者鼓吹了几十年了,总统就职日一过它就会被忘掉,取而代之的是不那么华丽浮夸的议事日程。

Mr. Obama's knack for eliciting pleasing feelings of self-regard in his followers is certainly a political virtue. (That so many of John McCain's supporters must hold their noses is, in its way, the equal and opposite virtue.) More than that, the vagueness of Mr. Obama's governing philosophy is a natural fit for a party that has long been wedded to the strategy that you get where you're going (a bigger welfare state) by not saying where you're going.

奥巴马先生激发其追随者自我关注的满足感的本事无疑是个政治美德。(让约翰·麦凯恩的支持者肯定会捂住鼻子的是,这本身就是个南辕北辙自相矛盾的美德。) 不仅如此,奥巴马先生统治哲学的暧昧含糊天然就适合一个长期以来奉行走一步看一步战略(比如一个更大的福利国家)的党,而不告诉你们到底往哪里走。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
intelligible [in'telidʒəbl]

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adj. 可理解的,明白易懂的,清楚的

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exceptional [ik'sepʃənl]

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adj. 例外的,异常的,特别的,杰出的

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current ['kʌrənt]

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n. (水、气、电)流,趋势
adj. 流通的

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dilemma [di'lemə]

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n. 困境,进退两难

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landslide ['lændslaid]

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n. 山崩 n. (竞选中)压倒多数的选票

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opaque [əu'peik]

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adj. 不透明的,难懂的

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financing [fai'nænsiŋ]

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n. 融资,资金供应 动词finance的现在分词

 
rhetorical [ri'tɔrikəl]

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adj. 修辞学的,符合修辞学的,修辞的

 
spectrum ['spektrəm]

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n. 光谱,范围,系列

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vagueness ['veignis]

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n. 模糊,含糊

 


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