TITLE=IN THE NEWS #474 - The American (1)Economy
(start at 1'06") This is Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program, IN THE NEWS.
Prices on the American (2)stock market have been (3)falling. Several big companies in the United States have (4)announced reductions in their work forces. Federal economic officials have lowered interest rates several times this year. They did so in an effort to increase spending and (5)investment and keep the economy growing. The administration of President Bush is calling the current situation an “economic downturn."
Both President Bush and (6)lawmakers agree that action is necessary to increase economic activity and raise stock prices. However, there is debate about what action to take.
Democratic lawmakers are proposing that the government give three hundred-dollars to each (7)taxpayer this year. They also would lower the tax rate on earnings for low-income taxpayers. These measures would cost sixty-thousand-million dollars.
President Bush (8)argued against the proposals this week in a speech on the economy. Mister Bush said he agrees with the idea of an (9)immediate tax cut. But he said it would have to be connected to his ten-year tax reduction plan.
The President said Americans are not likely to make major investments, like buying a house or starting a business, based on one tax cut. Mister Bush said these Americans need to feel secure about the long-term economic performance of the United States. He said they are concerned with the tax rates during the next several years.
However, Democratic leaders argue that Mister Bush's plan will be debated for some time. They also say his plan costs too much. Congressional economic experts say one part of his plan will cost two- and-one-half times more than Mister Bush (10)estimated.
Both sides hope to prevent a (11)temporary reduction in economic activity. However, some experts think a (12)recession is unavoidable. They say government action will only delay it. And they warn that a delay could create a much more severe recession in the future.
Other experts consider a recession useful. They say a recession is often necessary to correct an imbalance created by an extremely successful economy.
American buyers may help prevent a recession. (13)Consumer spending makes up about two-thirds of the American economy. Two recent studies of American buyers suggest that they plan to keep spending.
The (14)Conference Board research group says American buyers are not worried about the economy. The group says consumer confidence levels in March rose for the first time in five months. The group had been expecting a decrease. An earlier study by the University of Michigan also found consumer (15)confidence is on the rise. Researchers say Americans are less worried about a recession and expect a(16)period of slow economic growth to continue.
This VOA Special English program IN THE NEWS was written by Caty Weaver. This is Steve Ember.
(1) economy[ i(:)5kCnEmi ]n.经济, 节约, 节约措施, 经济实惠, 系统, 机体, 经济制度的状况
(2) stock[ stCk ]n.树干, 库存, 股票, 股份, adj.股票的, 普通的, 常备的, 存货的, 繁殖用的
(3) fall[ fC:l ]n.秋天, 落下, 瀑布, 降低, vi.倒下, 落下, 来临, 失守,下跌, 阵亡
(4) announce[ E5nauns ]vt.宣布, 通告
(5) investment[ in5vestmEnt ]n.投资, 可获利的东西
(7) taxpayer[ 5tAks7peiE ]n.纳税人, 所收租金只够支付地产税的建筑物
(8) argue[ 5B:^ju: ]vi.争论, 辩论vt.说服
(9) immediate[ i5mi:djEt ]adj.直接的, 紧接的, 紧靠的, 立即的, 知觉的
(10) estimate[ 5estimeit ]v.估计, 估价, 评估n.估计, 估价, 评估
(11) temporary[ 5tempErEri ]adj.暂时的, 临时的, 临时性
(12) recession[ ri5seFEn ]n.撤回, 退回, 退后, 工商业之衰退, 不景气
(13) consumer[ kEn5sju:mE ]n.消费者
(14) conference[ 5kCnfErEns ]n.会议, 讨论会, 协商会
(15) confidence[ 5kCnfidEns ]n.信心
(16) period[ 5piEriEd ]n.时期, 学时, 节, 句点, 周期