Teeter on the brink/edge of something: to be very close to a very unpleasant or dangerous situation. Sp. estar al borde de. E.g. Europe teeters on the edge of an economic precipice.
Pay sb off: to finish paying money owed for something. E.g. We paid off our mortgage after fifteen years.
Cut back (on something): to reduce something. E.g. If we don't sell more we'll have to cut back production. To cut back on spending.
Cutback: cutback (in something) a reduction in something. E.g. cutbacks in public spending. Staff cutbacks.
Hang back: show reluctance to act or move. E.g. I do not believe that our Government will hang back from taking drastic measures.
Draw back: choose not to do something that one was expected to do: the government hasn't drawn back from attempting a new reform.