The drama lovers in us love the name “fiscal cliff,” the catch phrase used to describe the latest budget fight in Washington. It’s scary! Totally reckless! Cinematic!
It sounds downright bat-crap crazy to have a legislative strategy that says, ‘Hey, let’s just go off the fiscal cliff, Thelma and Louise-style.’ That was the compromise in the House after the Tea Party refused to raise the debt ceiling. We know how that turned out.
If Congress and the president do not agree on $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction by New Year’s Eve, then budget cuts amounting to $1.2 trillion will go into effect on January 1, and half of those cuts will be in defense spending, which would trigger a gradual chain of events like spending cuts and tax hikes, far less dramatic than the nickname suggests. The other half comes from social programs like Medicaid.
The realists in us know better. That so-called “fiscal cliff” is more like stepping off a sidewalk, and that’s why msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell declared it a “fiscal curb.”
“If you don’t do anything, it becomes a very, very large adjustment in both tax revenue and spending over a long period of time,” msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell explained on Friday’s edition of the show. “But over the course of the few weeks that we will have done this before Congress fixes it, it will be a minor step off a curb. And it’s all fixable retroactively.”
As negotiations pick up on the fiscal cliff, it’s time to call it what it really is. We’re looking design ideas for Off The Curb campaign buttons.
Send us your own designs for The Last Word’s new Off The Curb campaign. Tweet @Lawrence, @TheLastWord or @digimuller your pictures, post them to our Facebook wall or do it the old-fashioned way, by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.