Final Word from Wednesday, June 29, 2011

With Greece teetering on the verge of collapse, a prudent European finance ministermight temper his optimistic outlook for his own economy, and Miroslav Kalousekhas indeed scaled back the GDP growth projection for this year from 2.0% to 1.9%.Yet next year his ministry still expects the Czech economy to grow in constant pricesby 2.3%. In current prices, the expected GDP increase for next year is an incredible5.0%. Total revenue should rise in line with this by 5.6%, to Kč 1.65 trillion, whiletotal spending should lag only slightly and climb by 4.0%, to Kč 1.78 trillion. Theproblem is that a misstep on the revenue side could lead to an explosion in the deficitand require the government to take extraordinary measures. Given the currentstate of the world, wouldn't it be more reasonable to plan for this likelihood now? Acynical person might suspect Kalousek of setting the 2012 state budget up to fail.

Glossary of difficult words

reality check - an occasion on which one is reminded of the state of things in the real word;

to teeter on the verge/edge/brink - to be very close to a difficult or dangerous situation;

prudent - acting with or showing care and thought for the future;

to temper - to moderate, modify;

to scale something back - to reduce something in size, number or extent;

growth projection - see Tables 1.1 and 1.4 of the linked document;

to lag - to fall behind in movement, progress or development;

misstep - a mistake or blunder;

to set something up to fail - to intentionally organize something so that it is not successful.


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