Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fiscal Cliff: What does it mean to you?

Each day of December that passes moves the US one day closer to the "fiscal cliff" that was created by our own incompetent politicians.

As a Federal employee, I have been watching with job security in mind. One would think that the powers that be would be certain to keep the air traffic control facilities fully staffed and operational...and they will, at least for the time being. But across the board cuts cut, well...across the board, and we are a part of that board.

Where I have some control, I have made some changes in my thrift savings plan to protect from a huge market drop. I don't know what will happen to prices at the grocery store or the gas pump. I don't know if I'll be paying more in taxes and taking home less money. I know that I will not be affected by losing unemployment benefits or access to medical care. I know that my health insurance plan for the coming year is already determined, both in cost and coverage. I know that I am eligible to retire and have that as an alternative should it eventually come to that.

I also know that I have kids that will be facing the task of finding jobs in an already depressed job market. I know that there are many people that will face immediate and devastating consequences. I know that even a few dollars less in take home pay or a few dollars more in expenses will cause many to fall off of the delicately balanced economic tightrope that they walk every day.

How does the "fiscal cliff" affect you?

I've sent comments to my legislators (unanswered) about how I feel about their lack of input into the "negotiations" between Speaker Boehner and President Obama. When the time comes, I will work to support or oppose their re-elections based on their handling of the coming events.

Because there will be little pain for me on Jan. 1, I am not facing the holidays with a great amount of stress over the impending cliff. I sense that the same holds true for many of my friends and readers. Perhaps there are those that you know that will be greatly impacted by tax increases or spending cuts. I'm curious about the political and media hype of a "cliff" and is it really going to have a falling into an abyss kind of effect.

I can tell you that I am not looking for a bunch of posturing on the politics that appears to be driving the stalemate. I will probably choose not to post political rants in the comments here and may delete such comments on Facebook. What I am interested in is knowing how you or somebody you know will be impacted by our legislators failing to do their jobs or waiting until January do something.

John <><


eViL pOp TaRt said...

Those idiots in Washington can't seem to get anything done anymore.

Anonymous said...

Austerity economics--if it doesn't hit you directly, it still hits you.

I was talking to a woman who is a child care provider--she provides care for young kids from low-income households. The parents receive a subsidy to help pay for care.

Her state ran out of money for the program. So they told providers--keep providing care, we'll pay you when the next fiscal year starts. Or "work for an IOU, we'll pay you in July."

She said that she was in a park with her kids and she saw a mother there with her child. They talked, and she learned that the mom worked retail and was going to college. But her child care provider wouldn't care for her kids anymore because she couldn't wait months to get paid.

And beginning next week, the federal govt will cut funding by another (nearly) ten percent.

Okay, so my taxes will go up a bit and I'll miss that 2 percent payroll tax cut. But... at least I don't have a kid who needs special education services, or Head Start, or a Pell Grant. I'm not in an abusive relationship (domestic violence services get that same across the board, nearly ten percent cut).

Stupid. On the other hand, at least they didn't come up with a new "deal" that cuts Medicaid and Social Security, and raises the eligibility age for Medicare.


Mike said...

Nothing will happen until the last possible moment when they will all say they had to do what they did to save the country.