fiscal cliff headache

“Fiscal cliff” is the term we are hearing enough to make our heads collectively explode used to describe the politically fiscal conundrum that the U.S. Government will face at the end of 2012, when the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 are scheduled to go into effect.  And basically no one in Washington should have been allowed to go home for either Thanksgiving or Christmas without a VIABLE solution in place.

Among the laws set to change at midnight on December 31, 2012:

  • are the end of last year’s temporary payroll tax cuts (resulting in a 2% tax increase for workers),
  • end of certain tax breaks for businesses
  • shifts in the alternative minimum tax
  • rollback of the “Bush tax cuts” from 2001-2003
  • beginning of taxes related to President Obama’s health care law
  • the spending cuts agreed upon as part of the debt ceiling deal of 2011 will begin to go into effect.
  • As per Barron’s, over 1,000 government programs – including the defense budget and Medicare are in line for “deep, automatic cuts.”

So, can we call it a depression now?

How much did the Obama family’s vacation to Hawaii cost US Taxpayers this year? Will that be a fiscal cliff cut? (It should be.)

Will there be a settlement of sorts before year-end?  Hope so, but a definite truism on this is neither political party wishes to be responsible for this mess. Another truism is this country is all sorts of porked up, so I think if they wanted to they could protect more necessary programs and slice and dice politically motivated ones. But I am but a mere mortal and female what do I know?

I have been living this economy since 2008 and yes I have survived without going ass deep into debt.  But I learned to live within my means, and that is definitely something more need to learn how to do. And I pay my own health benefits.

One of the things that used to fascinate me about growing up on the old Main Line and living on the new Main Line was the preposterousness of people. They would drive around in cars they couldn’t afford and live in homes that were grand and Barbie’s dream house- like and surprisingly devoid of furnishings at times. It was about the image.

To an extent it is the American Achilles heel of worrying more about the image than financial reality and fiscal responsibility that has gotten us into a pickle we should have learned our lesson from – what happened during the Great Depression.

For years the current administration refused to call a recession a recession, now they dance around the term depression (much like they danced around the term recession.)Obama in pretty worded speeches makes references to financial struggles not seen since the Great Depression. (You might wish to check out this article in Forbes from September.)

If you don’t got it, don’t spend it.  Now all of us who have adhered to that rule are paying the piper of others as far as I am concerned.   And for all those super rich, super liberals who voted again for Obama because of their guilty bank accounts, are you happy now? How’s that hopey changey forwardy thing working out?  Is anything better? Mind you I am not singling you out alone as there enough posturing conservatives who talk a good game and do nothing which I find equally intolerable.

Here’s a CNN Update:

Fish or cut bait? Obama, Congress to meet on fiscal cliff

By Tom Cohen, CNN

updated 11:07 AM EST, Fri December 28, 2012

Washington (CNN) — Is it political theater or a true last-ditch effort to avoid the fiscal cliff?

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders will discuss the looming tax hikes and spending cuts of the fiscal cliff at a White House meeting on Friday, as increasingly anxious markets and taxpayers look for any hint of progress.

Stocks opened lower on Friday amid growing fears that the president and legislators will fail to strike a deal, which also caused the Consumer Confidence Index to drop on Thursday.

Economists warn that continued stalemate could cause another recession as taxes go up on everyone with the expiration of lower rates from the administration of President George W. Bush, coupled with slashed government spending, including for the military.