Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Definition of 'Fiscal Cliff'

A combination of expiring tax cuts and across-the-board government spending cuts scheduled to become effective Dec. 31, 2012. The idea behind the fiscal cliff was that if the federal government allowed these two events to proceed as planned, they would have a detrimental effect on an already shaky economy, perhaps sending it back into an official recession as it cut household incomes, increased unemployment rates and undermined consumer and investor confidence. At the same time, it was predicted that going over the fiscal cliff would significantly reduce the federal budget deficit.

Investopedia explains 'Fiscal Cliff'
Because 2012 was a presidential election year, Congress delayed dealing with the fiscal cliff issue, leading to much speculation about how the scheduled tax and spending changes would play out and the potentially negative consequences of letting both occur without modifications. While the term "cliff" implied that the changes would have immediate, destructive and final consequences, some policy and economic analysts said that the consequences would be gradual and that negative outcomes like tax increases could be undone

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