英译中习作

Merry Jan. 17, 2019, 9:23 p.m.
Translation exercises

Public financial management is a topic that has only quite recently attracted the attention it deserves. For a long time, fiscal policy (and, more broadly, public finance) focused on how the levels of taxation and government expenditure affected the macroeconomic stability of countries and how the design of tax systems and the structure of spending programs influenced microeconomic efficiency and possibly economic growth. The practicalities of collecting revenue and allocating spending were considered separate topics that, at least among macroeconomists, were regarded as being of lesser importance. For a long time more attention was generally paid to economic aspects of taxation. The budget has always mattered, because it is the instrument used by governments to present their fiscal, tax and expenditure policy choices and because it is a statement of intentions for which the governments will be held accountable by voters. Yet the processes of budgeting attracted little attention over the years and remained an area too complex for the average voter to pay much attention to.

Macroeconomic distress and resource misallocations often reflect poor budgetary decisions. However, they may also be a consequence of shortcomings in the procedures and in the rules that govern the design and the implementation of national budgets. These can create “principal–agent problems” and can occasionally lead to corruption, with the consequence that public resources may end up in part being used in ways different from those intended in the budget. Just as it is now widely recognized that the effectiveness of a tax system depends on both its statutory design and its ability to provide needed public revenues in a fair and efficient way, so the effectiveness and efficiency of government expenditure depend on the capacity to reflect the spending decisions that have been made by policymakers in a realistic and credible budget. This would be a budget that is properly funded and that can be faithfully and successfully executed. Unfortunately, in addition to being complex, modern budgets are often more and more influenced in their formulation by decisions made by past governments – decisions that to some extent have tied, legally and politically, the hands of the current governments – and by problems that may develop between a budget’s formulation and its implementation.

Translation:

公共财政管理是近年来才引起人们应有关注的一个话题。长期以来,财政政策(更广泛地说,公共财政)的重点是关注税收水平和政府支出如何影响国家宏观经济的稳定性,以及税收制度的设计和支出计划的结构如何影响微观经济效率和可能的经济增长。财政收入的征收和财政支出的配置的实用性被认为是独立的课题,至少在宏观经济学家眼中,这些课题被认为不那么重要。长期以来,人们更多地关注税收的经济方面。预算总是很重要的,因为它是政府用来展示财政、税收和支出政策决定的工具,因为它是政府对选举人负责的宣言。然而,多年来,预算编制过程几乎没有引起人们的注意,因为对于普通选民来说,预算编制过程仍然是一个过于复杂的领域。

宏观经济窘迫和资源分配不当往往反映出预算决策的不足。然而,它们也可能是管理国家预算设计和执行的程序和规则存在缺陷的结果。这会造成“委托-代理问题”,有时会导致腐败,导致部分公共资源的使用方式可能与预算中预期的不同。正如人们现在普遍认识到的那样,税收制度的有效性既取决于其法定的设计,也取决于其以公平和高效的方式提供所需公共收入的能力。因此,政府支出的有效性和效率取决于反映政策制定者在切实可信的预算中所作的支出决定的能力。这将是一个得到适当资金支持并能够切实执行的预算。不幸的是,除了复杂之外,现代预算在编制过程中往往越来越受到过去政府的决策(在法律和政治上,这些决策在一定程度上束缚了当前政府的作为)以及预算编制和执行之间可能出现的问题的影响。

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