The looming fiscal cliff is big and it can affect all of us on Jan. 1. A number of major tax and spending items have been pushed down the road through a lack of action by Congress over the past few years.
If Congress does not act by the end of December, payroll and other tax increases could cost us (tax payers) $316 billion in 2013.
Federal spending cuts starting Jan. 1 could reduce spending by $109 billion next year. The result is big layoffs.
Our economy is on the road to recovery. Lack of action by our Congress between now and Jan. 1 could stop all that. The unemployment rate will go up. Our 401(k) portfolios will drop through the floor. The U.S. credit standing could fall. That may be scary.
Meanwhile, members of Congress have done nothing to avoid falling off this cliff. They are playing chicken with our economy by their lack of action. Congress is not working to solve the problem.
The solution to this pending catastrophe is all in the hands of our Congress. The Simpson/Bowles report (formal name is National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, 2010 recommendations) would be a good place to find common ground.
It is sickening to see this gridlock continue. We, not the Congress, will be the big losers if no action is taken by Congress.
Think about it. The presidential election result does not matter. Congress needs to solve this problem.
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