In the 1991 movie “Thelma and Louise”, things didn’t end all that well for them. You’ll remember that they drove off a cliff in a desperate effort to evade legal and moral responsibility for having transformed themselves from beige, lackluster personalities into erratic, common criminals. Similarly, everyone in DC is talking about the “Fiscal Cliff” we’re rapidly approaching. I do note the irony here; that unlike Thelma and Louise, our lawmakers regularly plunder our pockets legally, but I digress… So, I thought it might be helpful to give you layman’s “cliff notes” of sorts on this approaching economic event. Hopefully this will be information you can use. It’s important that all Americans know exactly what will be taking place in the coming weeks. It affects us all.
First up, a working definition of Fiscal Cliff: The term “fiscal cliff” refers to the simultaneous spending cuts and tax increases that are slated to take place at the end of 2012. For instance, the Bush tax cuts are currently scheduled to expire at the end of 2012. In addition, provisions that limit the reach of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and cut payroll taxes are also scheduled to expire at the end of the year. And as if that wasn’t enough, automatic spending cuts, as per the language laid out in the Budget Control Act of 2011, are also currently planned for the 2013 fiscal year. It’s pretty much a clusterf*ck.
While the tax increases and spending cuts would reduce the size of the national deficit, most economists feel as though the sudden changes would plunge the country into another deeper recession, especially given the fact that the country has been so dependent on Obama’s faux fiscal stimulus and bailouts over the past 4 years. For that reason, many politicians want to avoid the “fiscal cliff” that is currently looming in the distance. Uh…except this politician Who is a Democrat in Leadership… of course. *insert eyeroll here*
Still haven’t a clue what “Fiscal Cliff” is? Fear not! The beauty of the interwebz is that you can find anything on it – including “The Fiscal Cliff for Dummies” Part 1 and Part 2. I recommend these wholeheartedly.
Be informed on the Fiscal Cliff. Make your voice heard in DC. Compromise? At what costs? This economic event is destined to dominate all of our lives for the foreseeable future. We should be extremely worried about the havoc to be wreaked on our economy while leftist ideologues – who have sailed to re-election in spite of years of publicly-recognized fecklessness – step on the gas as we approach that Fiscal Cliff.
Thelma and Louise’s Cliff