Task 7. Read the interview with the financier and sum up his assessment of the situation with the budget.
Interviewer:The work of the draft budget is over and it has been submitted to the Government for consideration. How do you assess the draft?
Financier:I like the budget. It provides for a surplus.
Int.: It’s great. But don’t you foresee problems with servicing the foreign debt?
F.:No, the debt will be repaid under the schedule. We have reserves for that.
Int.: I see. You mean money from privatization, from the sale of oil and other raw materials, don’t you?
F.:Yes, you are right. First of all, I mean export receipts from foreign economic activity. But then, I’d like to stress, we are learning to manage the federal budget expenditure better.
Int.:The Treasury contributes to that, doesn’t it?
F.: Yes, it does.
Int.: Let’s hope the draft will be passed in four readings by the 1st of January.
F.:Let’s hope the legislative branch adopts the budget without delay.
Int.: How is the budget for this year being implemented?
F.: It’s being implemented according to the approved appropriations. Though spendings on health, education and science have been increased, personal incomes have gone up too, I mean wages and pensions. There is no deficit.
Int.: It’s nice to hear that but as far as I know, administrative spendings have gone up.
F.: Yes, you are right. It’s a problem.
Words and word combinations you may need
assess – оценивать
provide for – предусматривать
surplus – профицит
foresee – предвидеть
debt – долг
export receipts – экспортные поступления
manage – управлять
treasury – казначейство
legislative branch – законодательная ветвь власти
approved appropriations – утвержденные ассигнования
personal incomes – доходы населения
deficit – дефицит
Task 8. Say/write what you know about “the budget”, the Russian budget and its adoption procedure.
Texts for Additional Reading
Translate the texts into Russian and analyze grammatical and lexical problems of the translation with your teacher.
The Federal Budget
The federal budget of the US provides an analysis of expected future revenue and a detailed plan of spending for the upcoming year. The budget is prepared under the supervision of the President. Then it is submitted to Congress for modification and approval. Budget accounts are audited at the close of each year. Except for areas of national security, all citizens have the right to review the audits and inspect how public funds were received and spent.
The successive stages in budgeting – preparation, authorization, execution and audit are known as the budget cycle. The budget is designed to indicate major categories of revenue sources such as personal income tax, sales tax, profit tax etc.
Expenditures are listed by the government departments and agencies and are often enumerated in broad terms such as amounts for health, national security or education.
Preparation of the budget is a complex political process. The President makes the final decision on how much to request from Congress for different spheres and programmes. If the budget bill is approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate, it is sent to the President for signature.
In the United States, federal, state and local governments cover their expenses mainly through taxation. Each level of government depends chiefly on one or two types of taxes. In general, local governments receive most of their tax revenue from property taxes. State governments depend on sales tax, state income tax and excises. The federal government’s chief source of revenue is the federal income tax. Other federal taxes include the corporate profit tax and social insurance taxes.
In October 1986 the president signed into law the Tax Reform Act of 1986 – perhaps the most massive reform of the US tax system. The tax reform was aimed at improving the fairness of the federal tax system and at restoring confidence in the system by eliminating inequalities.
As elsewhere some taxpayers try to find loopholes in legislation and evade taxes. Some others do not pay taxes or do not pay them fully because they do not understand the procedure of tax collection.
The US Internal Revenue Service try to educate taxpayers, to provide them with information to help them to comply with the tax laws. Different educational programmes designed for specific groups of taxpayers have been worked out.
Factors of Production
This is the collective term for the economic resources in the production system. It is these inputs that are transformed into the output of final goods and services. Economists group the resources into four categories.
Land is the term for all natural resources that are used in production. Raw materials are therefore taken from the stock of natural assets. The economic reward that goes to the owners of this factor of production is called rent.
Labourcan be defined as the sum of all the physical and mental effort that goes into production and includes the tasks of management. The economic return to those who supply labour is wages / salaries.
Capital is the economic term for any man-made productive asset. It is business capital that is the factor of production rather than personal or social capital.
Business capital refers to the physical capital equipment and property of firms. The economic reward to capital is called interest.
Enterprise is regarded as the coordinating factor of production. It involves both the organization of the economic resources and an element of risk taking, its reward is profit.
Everyone knows that taxation is necessary in a modern state. Taxes are a part of life. Governments argue that taxes are a necessary evil – the price of a «civilized society». In fact, taxes help governments to pay massive amounts of money to operate and provide necessary services. Taxes are needed to pay salaries, they provide roads, schools and hospitals and help to pay the bill for such services as garbage collection* and postal delivery*. Without taxes it would not be possible to pay the soldiers and policemen who protect us; not the workers in government offices who look after our health, our food, our water, and all other things that we cannot do for ourselves; not also the ministers and members of parliament who govern the country for us. By means of taxation we pay for things that we need just as much as we need somewhere to live and something to eat.
Taxes can be divided into two categories: direct and indirect. Income tax, corporate tax, and property tax are examples of direct taxes. Income tax is probably the most resented, because in some lands it is progressive – the more you earn, the more tax you pay. Indirect taxes include sales taxes, taxes on liquor and cigarettes, and customs duties.
Though everyone knows that taxation is necessary, different people have different ideas about how taxation should be arranged. Should each person have to pay certain amount of money to the government each year? Or should there be a tax on things that people buy and sell? If the first kind of taxation is used should everyone pay the same tax, whether he is rich or poor? If the second kind of taxation is preferred should everything be taxed equally? Nobody enjoys paying taxes, many people try to find different ways to avoid paying certain taxes. That′s why whenever a new tax is proposed, legislators try to close any possible loopholes*.
garbage collection – вывоз мусора
postal delivery – доставка почты
loophole – лазейка
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