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October 10
Washington Insider: Facing the "Fiscal Cliff"

By Aaron Trippler

So, our elected officials have chosen to wait until after the election to address the “fiscal cliff.” Figures! No one wants to address the pending problems before they have a chance to get re-elected. But just what is this “fiscal cliff?” Well, it’s three things.

One, the 2 percent tax holiday on Social Security withholding for the past two years is scheduled to expire on Jan. 1. Take it from me: They will allow this tax holiday to expire and every person drawing a paycheck will see an additional 2 percent withheld from their paychecks beginning Jan. 1. Two, the Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire on Jan. 1. Take it from me: Some of these will expire. It’s hard to tell which ones because there are many—some of which are deductions for college tuition, child care credit, et cetera. And three, sequestration. If nothing is done to federal spending, nearly every agency of the federal government will be required by law to cut their budgets by approximately 8.2 percent on Jan. 1. Defense would have to be cut by approximately 10 percent.

I can’t imagine our elected officials allowing this to happen, but they don’t have much time to address it. The arguments on both sides will be interesting, but if past debates are any indication, you can probably figure that there will be so much posturing on this issue that it will be impossible to tell who is right and who is wrong. Ah, the workings of government!


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