The fiscal game of chicken

December 15, 2012 

As excited as I was about politics for the first 11 months of 2011, I am not as equally frustrated.

This so-called “fiscal cliff” is driving me batty.

And the Speaker of the House John Boehner and President Barack Obama seemed determined to play this game of chicken right up until the end.

Or we fall off the proverbial cliff, as it were.

I am not a financial wizard, and I don’t even play one on TV, but from what I can understand from the talking heads and others are simple: taxes are going up on Jan. 1, 2013. A lot.

Unless, of course, we can find some combination of revenue increases and spending decreases.

Just what our friendly, elected officials in Washington, D.C., love to do, right? Raise taxes and/or cut spending.

This pending doom feels odd to me. Mainly because of what seems to also be lurking in other areas of our economic boxing ring: gas prices are somewhat steady (no post-election spike, yet), the markets still seem to be “safe” mode, the dollar isn’t great, gold is fine. We seem to be in limbo, a financial purgatory if you will.

Something has to give, and soon.

If our elected officials cannot come up with a plan, we all get hit. Hard.

Folks making between $30,000 and $65,000 a year will see between $1,200 and over $3,000 in additional tax burden. A hit none of have prepared for, surely.

Our paychecks are set to take a wallop to the chin.

That means belt-tightening all around.

People will be giving less to their 401(k) plans, reducing medical costs if they can, saving less and, of course, spending less.

All of this sounds dangerous, and none of it is conducive to a financially healthy society.

Of course, the millionaires hold the strings on all of this.

No, not the millionaires who actually earned their millions – the politicians, I mean.

The political tug-of-war is sick.

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