Final Word from Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The United States no longer has the largest navy in the world. China does, although the American fleet is still stronger overall. Donald Trump understandably didn't boast about this in the mid-term campaign. Nor did he boast that his government's 2019 budget deficit will be so large ($984bn) that it exceeds defense spending ($637bn) by 54%. To achieve the balanced budget he promised in his presidential campaign, he would have to sharply raise taxes, slash defense spending or make cuts everywhere else. In relative terms, Andrej Babiš is much better off. The proposed defense budget for next year of Kč 66.7bn is 67% higher than the proposed deficit. In fact, the Kč 40bn deficit represents only 2.7% of planned revenue, compared to Trump's figure of 28.8%. If Babiš wanted to keep his own campaign promise of a balanced budget, it would be a cakewalk compared to the Herculean task faced by Trump. In this light, it's understandable that Babiš gets irritated when the National Budget Council starts talking about a future pension deficit. Others will have to face this issue far sooner than Czechs do. [ Czech Republic U.S. of American congressional Congress White House ]

Glossary of difficult words

mid-term elections - the U.S. congressional elections two years after the election of the president;

to slash - to reduce (a price, quantity, etc.) greatly;

cakewalk - an absurdly or surprisingly easy task;

Herculean - requiring great strength or effort.

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