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The gap between mouth and trouser

One worry is that China’s rulers will try to push the yuan down to help exporters. That would be a terrible idea, not least because the government has the resources to ease the pain in less dangerous ways: it is running a budget surplus and has little debt.

Last month it announced a huge 4 trillion yuan (nearly $600 billion) fiscal-stimulus package. Some who have crunched the numbers argue that this was all mouth and no trousers—much of it made up by old budget commitments, double-counting and empty promises.

It was thus mainly propaganda, to convince China’s own people and the outside world that the government was serious about stimulating demand at home. That may yet prove to be unfair: what matters is when infrastructure money is spent, not when it is announced.

Yet there is little sign that the regime is ready to take radical steps in the two areas that would do most to persuade the rural majority to spend its money rather than hoard it: giving farmers better rights over their land; and providing a decent social safety-net, especially in health care.

Still, China does at least have trousers, with deep pockets. India, in contrast, is not seen as a big potential part of the answer to the world’s economic problems. Not only is its economy far smaller; its government’s finances are also a mess. Its budget deficit—some 8% of GDP—inhibits it from offering a bigger stimulus that might mitigate the downturn (see article). This is alarming.

If China reckons it needs 8% annual growth to provide jobs for the 7m or so new members of its workforce each year, how is India to cope? A younger country, its workforce is increasing by about 14m a year—ie, about one-quarter of the world’s new workers.

And, perversely, its great successes of recent years have been in industries that rely not on vast supplies of cheap labour but on smaller numbers of highly educated engineers—such as its computer-services businesses and capital-intensive manufacturing.

Pardon me for posting such a long excerpt.
It is from Economist, December 13th, 2008 issue. Link

I am confused in all these references to trousers which I have highlighted.

1- the gap between mouth and trouser
2- all mouth and no trousers
3- China have trousers with big pockets

I have got the meaning of "all mouth and no trousers" as "noisy and worthless stuff".
But other references to trousers doesn't make sense to me.
Especially the first one "the gap between mouth and trouser" is too confusing.

Please help me with this excerpt.
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Hi,
Pardon me for posting such a long excerpt. That's OK. No problem.
It is from Economist, December 13th, 2008 issue. Link

I am confused in all these references to trousers which I have highlighted.

1- the gap between mouth and trouser The writer is thinking of the expression in #2 below, and saying that there is a large difference between talk and action.

2- all mouth and no trousers In England, this means 'all talk and no action / all talk and no substance'.
There are other similar expressions, eg In America, 'all hat and no cattle' (meaning someone looks like a cowboy but has no cattle).
The suggestion is that China is talking about providing a lot of new money, but will not actually do so.

3- China does have trousers with big pockets The writer is still thinking of the image from the above expression, and going on to say that China does in fact possess a lot of money.

I have got the meaning of "all mouth and no trousers" as "noisy and worthless stuff".
But other references to trousers doesn't make sense to me.
Especially the first one "the gap between mouth and trouser" is too confusing.

Only #2 is a standard expression. #3 stretches the expression quite successfully, but #1 is not a very successful way for the writer to express his thoughts, at least not in my opinion.

Best wishes, Clive
Comments  
Thanks a lot Clive!

Your explanation has made it crystal clear.