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I was watching CNN yesterday morning and I found out that we have a huge crisis on our hands:


I watched a bunch of segments on it and -- well, it turns out that I never actually found out what the FISCAL CLIFF is or what I should be doing about it. I got a weird sense that the TV people didn't actually know either.

But man, was Soledad sure pulling her hair out!

From what I can gather, sometime in January, the following will happen:

* ATMs will stop working
* Bank accounts will be frozen
* Our food supply will be interrupted
* All government benefits like Social Security, Medicare and VA benefits will stop being paid

All unless Congress does something ...


We just came through Hurricane Sandy and a brutal early winter snowstorm here in the Northeast. I learned a bit about emergency preparedness, but not enough.

I'm wondering about how all of you are preparing for the FISCAL CLIFF.

Canned food? Emergency shelter? How about mobile phones -- will they continue to work? I ordered a bunch of batteries, candles and a camp stove from last week and I'll be storing a bunch of potable water and things I can cook at home on a butane burner.

The floor is yours.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:05:18 AM PST

  •  OMG, this could be as bad as Y2K. n/t (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane, Neon Mama, bear83, Mr Robert

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:12:41 AM PST

  •  Retirement Funds (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III

    If you have of money in stocks, they might take a beating as they have been for the last two days.

  •  I'm creating my own line of pop up shelters for (7+ / 0-)

    the new housing reality in America.

    I'm still working out the kinks but here are the two main components:

    Umbrella / Sombrinha

    Hefty Lawn & Leaf Bags, 1973

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:19:25 AM PST

  •  No fear. They want cliffs, we can be cliff divers. (6+ / 0-)

    Everyone should always have a disaster recovery plan with supplies (e.g., backpack, cash, prescriptions, shovel, shoes, water, batteries) for natural disaster as well as these MAN-made ones.  

    Contriving  {{{{{The Fiscal Cliff}}}}}} and it's regimental overuse from all points is hysterical propaganda. Fuck the cliff. It's just a budget. Americans won't be able to avoid the panic porn as the Bush tax cuts expire but if we manage some unity to reject the propaganda it will create wind in Obama's sails. No fear.

    Let all Bush tax cuts expire and , bring on the Sequestration cuts to defense.

    by kck on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:21:29 AM PST

  •  Take ALL of your money out of the bank (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, chicagoblueohio, SuWho, NonnyO

    and put it under your mattress.

    Then tell the bankers, moguls and billionaires that you won't put it back until they agree to having their taxes increased and not touching Social Security or Medicare.  And also to agree to buy ad time to run apologies for fucking scaring old and ignorant people for no reason.

  •  A serious question. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Say we go over the cliff. What's to stop them from negotiating restoration of funding on a tit-for-tat basis?

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:28:28 AM PST

    •  Nothing. (6+ / 0-)

      But they still are the ones who are only 24 months away from another election.

      If I was Obama, I'd run down the clock and maybe even go ahead and let things go into overtime.  The closer they are to reelection, the more motivated they will be to please actual voters instead of a handful of billionaires.

      They're going to look back at this election and worry.  A handful of billionaires is only a handful of votes - and for the people in the House only a handful of them can even get one or two of those billionaire votes.

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    The only way to prepare for a fiscal cliff is to get your golden parachute.

  •  The real danger (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, tacet, SuWho, Mr Robert

    Actually the fiscal cliff is more of a fiscal downhill.  There are two aspects to the problem.  Both aspects are the Republican party.  1. Any time you have a dogmatist arguing for a position and they are on the side of "god", there can be no compromise.  It is a question of good and evil.
    2. Any time you have an economic illiterate with power, you are in a world of shit.   Republicans are economically illiterate and they have appropriations power.

    The across the board increase in taxes would indeed be bad.  And, major reduction in government spending at this time would be disastrous.  However, the economic impact would not be immediate. It would take the better part of a year to be fully felt.  However, the noted hair pulling and wailing would indeed precipitate a very bad market.  This would impact us all and not just the rich.

    Still, on the good side, the republicans are chastised by the reality that they still cannot quite recognize. They actually lost big in the senate and some (but not enough)of the batshit crazy stars in the house are gone so pressure might work on them.  

    The really bad side is that almost any compromise with these loons will only hurt the country.   And,, they are still determined to make Obama unsuccessful by preventing recovery.

  •  A case of champagne? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, NonnyO

    Given that I'm looking forward to the fiscal cliff as a way of eliminating the Bush tax cuts, I'll be offering a toast.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 10:47:54 AM PST

  •   Matthew Yglesias nails it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Good analysis of how the 1% is fanning the panic flames on this, for their own purposes. (Why are we not surprised?)

    If Congress does not fix it, most people will
    see a small increase in the payroll tax and in withholding tables -- but then in my experience most people don't look at their paystubs closely enough to understand what's coming out of their pay anyway. Evidence = the huge number of people who insist that Obama has already raised their taxes.

    •  But that small income tax increase... (0+ / 0-)

      ... which is ONLY back to what it WAS, and the decrease was only supposed to be temporary anyway... is what adds three years to FICA funds so it won't start to run out until 2036 instead of 2033 now because of that little 2% decrease.

      The temporary Obama income tax reduction and the temporary Bush tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy all need to be allowed to expire to get some revenue back in the US Treasury if our idiotic Congress Critters and Obama are going to still insist they have to continue Dumbya's unconstitutional and illegal war against a little gang of criminals and continue to keep troops in the country adjoining Iraq (?Yemen?).

      The FICA cap needs to be removed to make Social Security Fund more equitable and more stable for a longer period of time.  Gazillionaires only pay FICA on the first amount just over $100,000.  (I forget the exact sum; I think it's about $110,000?)  Anything over that, no FICA..., but they can still collect Soc. Security.

      THEN, the BIG problem becomes how to pay back the loans taken against the Social Security Trust Fund.

      I want an itemized statement of who borrowed against that fund.  Someone else may know, but I don't have the foggiest clue as to where that money went or how much they are supposed to pay back, with interest.

      I know the Congress Critters are going to try like hell to get us to give up our Soc Sec funds to put in "private accounts" through Casino Wall Street (where the investment bankers who are now deregulated will promptly "lose" it..., like Enron lost their investors' money).  And, of course, they take investor fees off the top, too, so they profit no matter how much we would lose if our Congress Critters are stupid enough to give our money to them.

      We need Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealed in it's entirety, and Glass-Steagall Act (which was repealed with GLB) reinstated.  Glass Steagall had all the regulations on the banks and kept their funds separate.  It was Bill Clinton, drat it, who signed Gramm-Leach-Bliley (how stupid could an otherwise intelligent man be?!?) and Dumbya and Dickie and their corporate and bankster criminal cohorts who spent the money like a bunch of drunken oil barons that led to the "too big to fail" banks, etc., which we had to bail out in '08.  That snafu still has not been straightened out, and you know the banksters and Casino Wall Street will be back holding out their hands and begging for help again, because they're "too big to fail."  The solution is to slap the Glass-Steagall regulations back on them..., but I don't think our Congress Critters or Obama are smart enough to do that.

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 02:44:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bungee cord, short term parachute, foam (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    padding, sturdy shoes, clean underwear like momma said, my medicare card and a copy of my living will saying --- don't rip off taxpayers with overpriced hospital cost robbery at my end of life ----> just let me die as thrifty as I've lived.

    The laughably titled "temporary" Bu$h tax cuts --- over a decade old now --- expire Jan. 1.   They wasted all Clinton math surplus cash.

    Norquist pledgers won't vote to end this welfare for the rich -- claiming it is a tax increase.    


    If all do NOTHING --- breaks end automatically.  THEN if they want to vote to CUT taxes to the 99%, they can. Or we go back to what we were doing just fine paying under Clinton.

    It is more like calling their bluff than cliff diving.

    We must pay the bill for the two wars Bu$hco kept off the budget stats. thru use of "emergency" funding votes.

    Next question is ---> what are you willing to give up for a better country?   Are we willing to stop buying wars & war machinery to enrich billionaires?   Even if your job goes bye bye?  Would you rather have retraining for a peaceful job in green energy or bringing healthier local foods to ghetto neighborhoods?   Would you plant a tree to clean the air or take mass transit instead of inefficient auto to work?  Buy fewer new clothes or electronic toys?  Plant a food garden?

    I support OFF THE CLIFF.  Fish or cut bait.  Plug the loopholes.  Stop subsidizing fossil fuels.  WWII rationing was a bit annoying --- but it worked because everyone pitched in.    Most Americans will help -- just show them a way.

    PS --- to whiners who insist we can't make enough new jobs for our graduates, tell them that is what happens when you force women  to stay pregnant.    I'm from the zero population growth generation.  Y'all should have listened.  

    Maybe "job creators" should be "taxed" to actually create jobs for all our born citizens before any anti abortion law can be enforced.  Then all children being warehoused must be adopted --- instead of being used to profit their handlers at tax expense.  This will really cut down tax bills.

    Got any other questions?  

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:08:01 AM PST

  •  Going about my life (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, Mr Robert, NonnyO, bink

    Seriously, most people won't even notice if the status quo occurs.

    Most of the non-defense spending in the sequester is covered by letting bush tax cuts expire.  For defense the pentagon already proposed enough to cover half of that.  They'll find the rest somewhere. Inaction is fine there.

    Most people won't actually notice the marginal difference in their tax rates if we go back to Clintonian taxes vs Bush taxes, even if it affects everybody below 250k.

    I actually prefer gridlock to any bargain on this topic, unless the bargain does things like, say, eliminate the cap on the FICA tax to pay for the "below 250k" bush tax cuts.

    •  Agree - This is much ado about nothing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, NonnyO

      Let's drive off the cliff like Thelma & Louise. The sun will rise on Jan 1. If Congress wants to, it can then pass a new tax plan in a few weeks that is retroactive to Jan 1.

      Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

      by bear83 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:44:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Recession (0+ / 0-)

    According to a new report by the CBO, the economy would fall into a recession with unemployment going up to 9.1% by next fall.

    Something tells me that a deal will be made.

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