Final Word from Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kids say the darndest things, but it's politicians who can talk for hours without saying much of anything. Viewers who survived Czech TV's excruciatingly long debate on Sun. about the state budget heard a few valid comments about cutting spending, making welfare payments more needs-based, rebalancing the tax rates and paying down the national debt, but they didn't hear a word about eliminating the tens of billions of crowns of organized theft from the state budget. By avoiding this issue, Finance Minister Eduard Janota, Vice Chair Miroslav Kalousek of TOP 09, Chair Miloš Zeman of SPO and Prof. Jan Švejnar of IDEA think-tank demonstrated that they are not really interested in tackling the country's biggest problem. They dare not risk their careers. The same applies, of course, to the host of the debate, Václav Moravec. They are the first recipients of our "corruption facilitators" seal of disapproval.[Czech Republic OVM Television Strana práv občanů]

Glossary of difficult words

seal of disapproval - an expression of discontent with policy or behavior;

kids say the darndest things - a U.S. television show and book highlighting humorous comments by children;

darndest - (rare) the superlative form of the exclamation "darn" (which is a euphemism for "damn");

excruciatingly - intensely painful (the debate show lasted nearly two hours);

needs-based - (or need-based) derived from need, instead of from merit or from general eligibility (paying welfare only to people who are truly in need);

to tackle - to address, deal with, come to grips with (an issue or problem);

facilitator - someone who, through his actions or words, makes an action or process easier.

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