Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fiscal Cliff or Bungee Jumping?


I’ve been feeling a little like our country is about to jump off into the abyss with this whole fiscal cliff thing. If we jump off the cliff will we bounce back or will we be leaping unknowingly to our demise?

This is what I think so far:

1.       If the government allows us to go over the so-called fiscal cliff without some kind of consensus on taxes and entitlements, it means higher taxes for everyone and not just the top earners.

2.       What I call the middle-middle class, or if your income is between $54,000 and $94,000, will see an average tax increase of $2200.

3.       The President and the Speaker of the House met yesterday to discuss the fiscal cliff but there has been nothing new issued.

4.       If the government continues to drive this convertible off the proverbial fiscal cliff, Thelma and Louise style, deep cuts will happen in the defense department.

5.       According to many news reports today, the U.S. has ramped up operations in North Africa. What does that mean for our troops with the looming defense cuts? Less money budgeted for things like protective clothing, vehicle modifications, that keep them safe in theater plus pay decreases and harder times advancing in rank. All this could damage the morale and welfare of the armed forces.

6.       What do defense budget cuts mean for military families? The cuts would affect families with closings of such conveniences like swimming pools, childcare facilities, commissary privileges, libraries and even the quality of medical care and housing will suffer. Increases in taxes and decreases in pay could decimate already financially fragile military families. Many may need to become dependent on welfare and food stamps.


While I am glad the President put in his weekly address Saturday that we must extend the middle class tax cuts and work together to come to a solution, all this is rhetoric if there is no action. If my family is expected to tighten the purse strings so should the federal government. The officials in Washington need to REALLY sit down and get this work done. They need to talk about where we need to tighten and not just by slashing defense. Talk about entitlement reform. Bring back work for welfare, reduce unemployment benefits. There should never be an incentive for someone not to work. Also, reform medicare and social security.
So I ask you, what areas do you think the defense department will cut spending and what should the federal government do about the pending expiration of the Bush tax cuts? What effect, if any, has the talk of the fiscal cliff had on you and your family? Are you saving more, spending less, selling stocks, contemplating retirement, postponing retirement, budgeting more than ever, couponing more than ever? Leave a comment! I would love to hear!

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