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Donald Trump, $22 trillion debt is no Laffer-ing matter

特朗普认为22万亿美元债务与拉弗曲线无关

The Editorial Board, USA TODAY Opinion•August 20, 2019



At some point in the future, when Americans are struggling to contain a spiraling debt crisis, one seemingly minor event of 2019 could well take on added meaning. That event is Donald Trump's plan to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, on June 19, to economist Arthur Laffer.

在未来的某个时刻,当美国人正在努力控制不断加剧的债务危机时,2019年一件看似微不足道的事很可能会带来更多的意义。6月19日,特朗普计划将总统自由勋章授予经济学家阿瑟·拉弗。

Yes, the award has gone to far less credentialed people than Laffer, a Ph.D. economist with a long list of published papers and stints advising Republican presidents. But more than anyone else, Laffer gave intellectual cover to the proposition that politicians can have their cake and eat it, too.

是的,,这个奖项曾经授予的人的资历与拉弗要少得多。拉弗是一位经济学博士,发表过一长串论文,曾为共和党总统提供过咨询。但是,拉弗比任何人都更理智地支持这样一种观点,即政客们可以鱼与熊掌兼得。



That makes giving Laffer the award now a bit of an obscene gesture. It is as if Trump were saying to the American people: You were dumb enough to believe all that mumbo-jumbo about tax cuts paying for themselves, and even though that has been shown on multiple occasions to be wrong, I am going to honor the guy who co-wrote "Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy."

这使得现在给拉弗颁奖有点下流的意味。就好像特朗普在对美国人民说:你们愚蠢到相信减税会带来好处的胡言乱语,尽管这已经被多次证明是错误的,但我要向《特朗普经济学:美国重振经济的第一计划》的合著者致敬。

To be sure, neither party is pure when it comes to fiscal prudence. One president from each party — George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton — deserves high marks for budget balancing efforts. The others, not so much.

诚然,在财政审慎方面两党都不纯洁。两党各有一位总统——乔治•h•w•布什和比尔•克林顿——在平衡预算方面值得称道。而其他人就不怎么样了。



Government borrowing matters. A lot. No one knows precisely how much debt a government can reasonably take on, or how much that figure might change during a moment of global crisis. Testing the limit is not a good idea. But that is exactly what the United States — $22 trillion in the red and counting — is doing.

政府借款非常重要。但没有人确切知道一国政府能合理地承担多少债务,或者在全球危机期间,这个数字会发生多大的变化。测试这个极限不是一个好主意。但这正是美国正在做的——22万亿美元国债,而且还在增加。