the “cliff” is more than just “fiscal”
the term “fiscal cliff” was coined by Helicopter Ben to draw dramatic attention the impending pop-up of the federal budget deal agreed to in 2011 when the “Super Committee” in Congress failed to agree. In fact, it is much more than just the fiscal budget:
**expiration of the Bush tax cuts. So, technically, I guess you could weasel out by claiming you are not really imposing new tax increases
**expiration of the 2% payroll tax reduction: this one will take dollars out of the weekly paychecks of workers immediately
**oodles of new taxes to pay for Obamacare. Not only that, but businesses are cutting back on full time employees in favor of part-timers that will not trigger health insurance requirements
**across the board budget cuts. Now wait: is not this the most fair, least political way to reduce the size of government?
I got suspicious of this term, thinking that this word has a rather different legal meaning than just a cut or reduction. I did some poking around, and did not discover a magic escape hatch where Congress just jump up and yell “just kidding...” I did not find one, but this does not mean that it does not exist.
I did discover, however, that all Congress has to do to kill it is to pass a really brief amendment to nullify the whole shebang.
Thus approaches the end, but I do not fear it.