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米財政の崖 大統領と議会は回避へ合意を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 24, 2012)
Obama, U.S. Congress must strike deal to avoid 'fiscal cliff'
米財政の崖 大統領と議会は回避へ合意を(12月23日付・読売社説)

Will the United States be able to avoid tumbling off the so-called fiscal cliff, which could lead to a drastic fiscal contraction and economic slowdown? We urge both President Barack Obama and Congress to compromise to reach an agreement as soon as possible.
 急激な財政緊縮で米国経済が失速する「財政の崖」を回避できるか。オバマ大統領と議会は互いに譲歩し、早期合意を図ってもらいたい。

In the last round of negotiations, the two sides abandoned their effort to resolve the problem before Christmas, which had been set as the deadline for a settlement. They plan to resume talks on Wednesday at the earliest.
 大詰めの協議は、交渉期限としていたクリスマス休暇前の決着を断念した。26日以降に協議を再開する予定だ。

The negotiations are expected to continue until the end of the year, but it remains to be seen if the two sides will be able to strike a deal by then. There are pessimistic predictions that the negotiations will go into next year, which we consider a terrible development.
 再協議は年末ギリギリまで行われる見通しだが、年内妥結は微妙で、来年に先送りされるという悲観的な観測も出ている。憂慮すべき展開になってきた。

The fiscal cliff refers to the expiration of tax cuts introduced during former President George W. Bush's administration and mandatory spending cuts that will kick in Jan. 1.
 「財政の崖」は、ブッシュ前大統領が導入した所得税などの大型減税の失効と歳出の強制削減が来年にかけて重なる事態を言う。

Failure to reach an agreement this year could result in a fiscal contraction of up to 503 billion dollars (about 42 trillion yen) a year, pushing down real gross domestic product growth by about 3 percent.
 財政緊縮額は最大で年間5030億ドル(約42兆円)に達し、米国の実質国内総生産(GDP)の伸び率を約3%も押し下げる。

In that event, the U.S. economy would almost certainly enter a recession, which would deal a serious blow to Japan and the rest of the global economy. It is natural there are growing concerns on the New York Stock Exchange and elsewhere.
 そうなれば、米国の景気後退入りが避けられず、日本など世界経済にも深刻な打撃を与えよう。ニューヨーク株式市場などが警戒を強めているのは当然だ。

===

Taxing the wealthy

The biggest sticking point in the talks are tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
 協議の最大の焦点は、富裕層向け減税の扱いである。

Among the tax cuts introduced by Bush, Obama has consistently called for ending tax cuts for wealthy households earning more than 250,000 dollars (about 21 million yen) during and after the presidential campaign. This is aimed at focusing tax cuts on the middle-class and reducing fiscal deficits.
 大統領は大統領選中から一貫して「ブッシュ減税」のうち、年収25万ドル(約2100万円)超の富裕層向け減税の打ち切りを主張してきた。減税を中間層などに絞り、財政赤字縮小を図る狙いだ。

The Republicans, however, oppose tax hikes on the wealthy, calling instead for extending across-the-board tax cuts.
 これに対し、富裕層増税に反対する共和党は、全所得層の減税延長を求めて対立してきた。

Obama recently offered a compromise by proposing higher tax rates for Americans making more than 400,000 dollars, which is seen as a positive sign. The proposal is commendable as it shows his willingness to bring the stalled negotiations to a close.
 大統領が最近になってようやく、増税対象とする富裕層を40万ドル超に引き上げる妥協案を示したのは良いサインだ。協議打開を目指す姿勢と評価できる。

===

GOP softens stance

Republicans have also softened their stance, putting forward a plan to allow taxes to rise only on households making more than 1 million dollars a year. However, some party members still strongly oppose raising taxes for any high-income earners.
 共和党も軟化し、100万ドル超の富裕層については増税を容認する案を提示したが、それでも党内には依然、富裕層増税に反対する強硬派がいる。

Although their positions are still wide apart, we hope both sides will compromise.
 主張の隔たりはまだあるが、歩み寄りを期待したい。

The president and Republicans are also at odds over the scale of spending cuts in social security and other fields. In summer last year, the U.S. government managed to raise the federal debt limit. As the federal debt is likely to reach that limit as early as the beginning of next year, this problem has become another focus of attention.
 大統領と共和党の協議は、社会保障などの歳出削減規模を巡っても対立している。昨夏、連邦債務上限の引き上げが実現したが、年明けにも再び債務上限に達する問題への対応策も論点である。

Some people are calling on the president and Congress to reach a "small deal," under which the two parties will initially compromise on certain points. This proposal is worth considering to avert the worst.
 ひとまず妥協できる点で決着する「小さな合意」を求める声が一部にある。最悪の事態を避ける次善策として検討に値する。

The U.S. fiscal deficit has topped 1 trillion dollars for four consecutive years, the nation's unemployment hovers at a high level and economic recovery has been delayed.
 米国の財政赤字は4年連続で1兆ドル台に乗り、失業率が高止まりして景気回復は遅れている。

In January, Obama will start serving his second term, and a newly elected Congress will take office. But the country still must confront the difficult challenges of realizing thorough fiscal reconstruction and economic growth at the same time.
 来年1月にオバマ大統領の2期目がスタートし、新議会も始まる。抜本的な財政再建と経済成長の両立は重い課題となるだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 23, 2012)
(2012年12月23日01時31分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-12-25 06:35 | 英字新聞

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