Tue, Feb 10, 2009 - Page 13 News List

Just how much is a trillion dollars? Well... 一兆元到底是多少?嗯…

The unofficial National Debt Clock is seen with a makeshift “1” in the dollar sign box, marking the federal government’s expanding current debt of about US$10.2 trillion, on Oct. 9, 2008 in New York City.
二OO八年十月九日,美國聯邦政府舉債金額擴增到約十兆兩千億美元,位於紐約市的非官方「國債鐘」破表,只得暫時將十兆位的「1」擠進錢符號欄位。照片:法新社

PHOTO: AFP

US senators opposing an almost US$1 trillion economic stimulus package are struggling to find ways to explain just how big that one with 12 zeroes after it really is.

Republican Senator John Thune said you could circle the equator 38.9 times with 100-dollar bills stretched side-by-side, and showed a picture of Earth encircled in greenbacks to emphasize his point.

“One trillion dollars is a terrible thing to waste,” he said. “We shouldn’t spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need.”

A day earlier, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell also grappled with ways to illustrate how big the US$888 billion stimulus plan, which could easily grow before a final vote, really is.

“Just to put a trillion dollars in context, if you started spending the day that Jesus was born and you spent a million dollars every single day, you still wouldn’t have spent a trillion dollars. This is a lot of money,” he said.(AFP)

對近一兆美元的經濟振興方案持反對立場的美國參議員,正努力用各種方式解釋這個後面有十二個零的數字到底有多大。

共和黨參議員約翰.圖恩表示,若將一兆美元以百元鈔票一張一張相連起來,可繞行赤道三十八點九圈,他並秀出一張地球被美鈔繞行的圖片來強調他的論點。

他說:「一兆美元不應該拿來隨便浪費,我們不該舉債支應我們不需要的東西。」

就在前一天,參議院共和黨領袖米區.麥康奈爾也努力想辦法凸顯這次紓困計畫的八千八百八十億美元究竟有多少,預算金額在最終表決前很可能會再追加。

他說:「我告訴你一兆元有多少,如果你從耶穌誕生那天開始每天花一百萬元,到今天也還花不完一兆元。這真的是很大一筆錢。」(法新社�翻譯:袁星塵)

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. trillion n.

兆 (zhao4)

例: The government has announced a trillion-dollar spending plan.

(政府宣佈了一項一兆元的支出計畫。)

2. equator n.

赤道 (chi4 dao4)

例: Days and nights are exactly 12 hours long at the equator.

(在赤道,日夜正好各十二小時。)

3. emphasize v.t.

強調 (qiang2 diao4)

例: We need to emphasize how important this plan is. (我們得強調這個計畫有多重要。)

4. vote n.

表決 (biao3 jue2)

例: We took a vote, and decided to implement the plan.

(我們投票表決,決定實施這個計畫。)


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