I thought “fiscal cliff” was a silly name for the tax hikes and federal budget cuts that will kick in automatically at year's end if Washington policymakers fail to act, and then I heard someone call it “taxmageddon.”
What's next? “Budget black hole?” “Monetary meltdown?” “The Great Depression?” Oh wait, we've already used that one.
Whatever it's called, it's a cloud hanging over our economy and every single one of us taxpayers.
Many have forecast the nation's economy will slip back into a recession if Congress does nothing to forestall the potential fiscal cliff, and Congress has been particularly good at doing nothing. The national unemployment rate, currently at 7.9 percent, would jump back above 9 percent, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Taxes would rise more than $500 billion next year, and middle-income families — the same ones who politicians claim deserve a break — would see their tax bills climb an average of nearly $2,000, according to the Tax Policy Center. Low-income households also would be dealt a blow with an expiration of tax credits.
The one thing nearly everyone agrees on is that it can't be allowed to happen.