The Fiscal Cliff, the Fiscal Slope, the Debtpocalypse, Debtmageddon, Fiscal Clifford the Big Red Dog, the Fiscal whatchamacallit… No matter how clever people get with naming this thing, it has been dominating political talks all over the United States. Pundits are blogging and tweeting about it, citizens are trying to understand it, Wikipedia has a whole page on it, and it feels as if a large fiscal crisis cloud is looming overhead. Maybe that’s where all the rain is coming from?
Personally, I’ve been a little lost on this whole matter. So, obviously, I did what any other curious person would do. I googled it. Turns out, there’s even a Wikipedia page for it now. Helpful. According to Wikipedia, “the fiscal cliff is a neologism referring to the effect of a number of laws which (if unchanged) could result in tax increases, spending cuts, and a corresponding reduction in the budget deficit beginning in 2013.” What’s confusing, however, is that apparently the whole deficit problem could be fixed by just leaving all these laws unchanged. But at the same time, doing that would actually throw us -pardon the expression- off a cliff and right back into a deep recession. So obviously this is a bit of a problem. Allowing these laws to come into play would raise taxes on the poor, cutting doctor’s pay and the defense budget too, things were generally try to avoid. So what do we do? Do we allow these taxes to come back into effect and significantly cut the deficit while considerably harming our citizens? What is our solution? The lame-duck Congress needs to come together before January 1 now and settle some serious issues in order to solve this problem. Sounds like we’re in good hands.