Sunday, December 2, 2012

Resources for Understanding the Fiscal Cliff

Given all the discussion about the Fiscal Cliff, it's important to understand what it is, how we got here, and why it's a problem.  As a reminder, the Fiscal Cliff involves the simultanteous expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the payroll tax cut, and mandatory cuts in defense and discretionary program beginning in January 2013.  What in the world does that mean?  The following are some useful resources for understanding the Fiscal Cliff.
  • Video about the fiscal cliff (from the Wall Street Journal)
  • The Fiscal Cliff: A Primer (Tax Foundation)
  • Expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts
  • How we got to this point (Pete Peterson Foundation) - analysis of budget agreement that raised the debt ceiling in Aug 2011
    • Sequestration: over $100 billion in spending cuts in 2013 - half in defense, half in other discretionary programs (not entitlements)
    • Expiration of payroll tax cut (2% tax cut that was part of the stimulus in 2011 and 2012)
  • Impact on the economy
  • Fix the Debt: a bipartisan organization designed to educate the public about the debt problem as well as to promote a credible plan to contain the growth of the national debt
In future posts, I'll discuss specific aspects of the Fiscal Cliff including the big picture as well as details as to what's involved, the current status, and the likely impact.