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Fiscal Cliff?? Slogan, Warning, or What?

November 26, 2012 1 comment

Thank you Occupy Philly for the satire on the Fiscal Cliff.

When listening to the pundits constantly echoing of the phrase “fiscal cliff” with the added implication of dread in their voice; I could not resist my wonk urge to get a clear definition of what the fiscal cliff is and its implications in a sterile (non-partisan) fiscal way. right, as if that is possible!

After much exhausting research on the “Google” I have come to understand that it means as much as Alan Greenspan’s “irrational exuberance” and that’s not saying much. Irrational exuberance was a phrase coined by Greenspan to warn us that investors were over-weighing the market without actually saying that they were over-weighing the market (some say that Greenspan was warning of an impending fiscal bubble  but I am not sure he was that astute). It is an illusive way to warn about a possible fiscal disaster without warning about a possible fiscal disaster, but leaving yourself cover to be able to say “I WARNED YOU”. You know, “having your cake and eating it too” or as a  friend of mine often said “It’s my SAVE ASS move!”.

The name “fiscal cliff” is a classic political misnomer seeing that there’s no major impact on the economy with its onset; anyone would infer different from its title, fiscal cliff. Any use of the word “cliff” typically means immediate and life-ending descent from a high distance which does not apply in this case. Ever since Bernanke used the phrase “fiscal cliff” at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee in February of this year, the term has been used for a multiplicity of partisan needs. Well let’s get an understanding of what Ben Bernanke meant when he said it, so let’s go to the way-back machine to get the jest of it. To quote Bernanke “I hope that Congress will look at [the spending cuts and revenue increases] and figure out ways to achieve the same long-run fiscal improvement without having it all happen at one date,”. Read more…

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