SPEAK OUT: Will the U.S. Go Over the Fiscal Cliff?

A Dec. 31, 2012, deadline looms for Congress on a number of significant financial issues.


Now that the election is over, the most prominent problem facing the U.S. government is the “fiscal cliff.” You may have heard or seen the term in recent media coverage, but what, exactly, does “fiscal cliff” mean?

If Congress fails to act, on Jan. 1, 2013, a number of financial policies will either expire or initiate, including $7 trillion worth of tax increases and spending cuts over the next 10 years.

Some of the agencies and programs affected include: Defense cuts, air travel safety and food inspection cuts, income tax rates, the estate tax, marriage penalty relief, child tax credit, the alternative minimum tax, a drop in Medicare reimbursements, small business tax breaks and more.

How do you feel about the country potentially going over the fiscal cliff?

daniel phelan November 08, 2012 at 06:25 PM
It's time the media does it's job. It's time to dispel this notion that raising taxes on rich people is somehow going to crash the economy or destroy jobs. It's nonsense!! Tax cuts for rich people has nothing to do with jobs, in fact after more than a decade of tax cuts for rich people the jobs market has only broken even from the 2006 collapse. There is just no proof that raising taxes is going to hurt anyone, but there is proof that it can reduce our deficit. If Republicans are truly serious about reducing our deficit than they are going to have to consider raising taxes on rich people. I am am very interested to know what it is to be a Republican. What do they stand for?
daniel phelan November 08, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Now, I am perfectly familiar with the grandiose slogans of freedom and liberty that Republicans keep repeating to the public, but when you look at exactly who they fight for it is pretty much only people who make lots and lots of money. How is it that so many people vote for so many Republicans who only really represent the few? I think it's because Republicans of today are really good at making people angry and then telling them that it's the government's fault. Tell you what America, most Americans don't make lots and lots of money. So how is it that there are so many Republicans when all they care about is protecting tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires who don't need them? Republicans say that Democrats are asking too much to raise taxes on people making even $500,000 per year. Think about that. How many people we know make that much money? Hardly anybody? Based on the percentage of the citizenship they represent Republicans have no business holding a majority in any political body. I think it's time America and the media hold Republicans accountable until they start showing that they are mature and responsible enough to hold positions of leadership.
Rocky November 09, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Daniel ---Don't be so simple . Do you actually think that raising taxes on the rich will solve this problem? Until the entitlement issue is addressed, nothing significant will happen. It might well be too late. America has more takers that contributors. By the way, it feels great to be a Republican because we are the right side of this issue.
Bill Hussein O'Stalin November 09, 2012 at 12:05 PM
You really are a moron with no reading skills. The fiscal cliff is the least of the nation's problems. It isn't a question of rooting for it. A cliff is coming when all the Obamacare taxes are implemented. People with incomes as little as $10,000 in income will see tax increases. Taxing the rich is a waste of time and won't achieve one thing. On top of that, while the poor will suffer Obama's billionaire friends will still be receiving massive subsidies. Another off shoot coming. In 2009 90% of all checking accounts were free. In 2012 fewer than 35% are free thanks to Obama and Dodd-Frank. Flexible Savings Accounts for health care are being severely limited. That will affect families with special needs children the most since they used them to obtain access to private schools. The fiscal cliff is nothing compared to what is coming with Obamacare. Millions will be laid off or have their hours reduced to under 28 and it's already happening. http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/mikeshedlock/2012/11/07/restaurants_to_cut_obamacare_costs_by_cutting_employee_hours/page/full/ Orlando-based Darden Restaurants Inc., which operates more than 2,000 restaurants under the Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse and other brands, is currently testing limiting some employees to 29.5-hour work weeks in some markets. “This is just a test,” said Rich Jeffers, the casual-dining company’s director of media relations and communications.
Bill Hussein O'Stalin November 09, 2012 at 12:40 PM
The Supreme Court stated it is a tax. Wrong again Frank.
Bill Hussein O'Stalin November 09, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Well, Frank, that's surprising coming from you. Apparently, you have no problem with the government forcing you to buy a product. That's a conservative trait. However, if you are required to purchase it or whether you pay the fine it's a tax if you are forced. Even if you think you have an argument there, you apparently want to forget about taxes going up anyway. And they always impact the poor the most. Free checking accounts which the poor needed are now gone for most of them. The next recession will not affect the rich. It will hurt the poor and it will be unleashed in all its fury in 2014. Just watch the millions get laid off while Frank and other liberals argue that they know what's best. They don't and the point will soon be made and in the most horrible way possible.
Bill Hussein O'Stalin November 09, 2012 at 01:01 PM
You apparently missed the part about Dodd-Frank causing a massive reduction in the number of free checking accounts now available. That impacts lower income people the most. As far as taxes, medical device makers are already closing shop here and moving overseas. There are 400,000 people employed by medical device makers and it is estimated that over 100,000 of those jobs will be eliminated. Some medical device makers have already closed shop and left the country and have taken their high paying jobs with them: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444620104578012281306687070.html The adverse effect of this confiscatory level of taxation on traditional device makers is already clear. In my state of Indiana alone, Cook Medical has canceled plans to build one new U.S. facility annually in each of the next several years, and Zimmer plans to lay off 450 workers, while Hill-Rom expects to lay off 200. Stryker, based in Michigan, anticipates having to lay off 1,000 workers. As a result of the looming device tax, production is moving overseas, good jobs are going to Europe and Asia, and cutting-edge medical devices will now be produced elsewhere for import into the U.S. Meanwhile, the impact on the quality of care is incalculable but no less real. Thirty billion dollars must be taken out of operations or R&D. Who knows what lifesaving devices that might have been developed will fall victim to this tax?
Bill Hussein O'Stalin November 09, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Not really. Go read that article. Many of these companies have margins of just 3%. However, to your BS claim that article was written and researched by Evan Bayh, a former Democratic Senator who voted for Obamacare. Jim Webb is also now expressing regrets for having voted for it because jobs are already disappearing in Virginia. Your avalanche is coming from the Democrats.
MocoLoco November 09, 2012 at 04:23 PM
I think I'm okay with the idea of going over this fiscal cliff. Sure, it will cost me more in taxes. But, we'll get a government that is 20% smaller! That's awesome--neither Democrats nor Republicans have succeeded in shrinking the federal government. This is our chance to do so. And, by paying higher taxes, we will become a more pay-as-you-go society, rather than borrowing money that our children and grandchildren will have to pay back.
jag November 09, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Hilarious joke.
jag November 09, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Love how 100,000,000,000 a year is "a drop in the bucket" when the Right just ran a campaign of citing PBS and food stamps as the problems areas of our budget. A drop in the bucket? Are you serious? "Warren Buffet, a big Obama supporter, gets 95 billion a year in government subsidies. He's one person who is certainly wealthy but those subsidies are not on the table." You don't know what you're talking about. From misspelling his name onward.
Corbin Dallas Multipass November 09, 2012 at 05:39 PM
"It was not a win for Maryland job seekers who would have liked to work for the defense contractor." That's silly, sure it is, many people choose to live in Maryland and commute to VA.
MocoLoco November 09, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Well--to be sure--I am not trying to finish off America. I'm trying to save it from unending debt
Corbin Dallas Multipass November 09, 2012 at 09:43 PM
"Just like the governor's idiocy. A few commuters got to keep their jobs while many thousands more lost the opportunity. Sheesh. Talk about ingrained stupidity." What? The jobs are moved from LA and weren't available here. How did commuters keep jobs that didn't exist?


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