We are currently 16 trillion dollars in debt, that number is expected to rise by nearly a trillion dollars a year over the next decade (that’s not even counting the 40+ trillion dollars that are promised to entitlements that we can’t pay for.) So what do they mean by the fiscal cliff? Simply put, nobody knows, and if they know, they won’t talk about it.
Only guessing, I believe what they’re referring to is out of control debt. The fiscal cliff would occur when we have so much debt we couldn’t possibly pay it off, and I believe that happened about 10 trillion dollars ago. To put it into perspective, if you had every ounce of gold, silver, and platinum ever mined, every ounce that ever will be mined on the entire face of the Earth, you would have about 14 trillion dollars. Since the dollar is based on gold, and we don’t quite own the entire face of the Earth, we might have a bit of a problem. The other even bigger problem is the new trillion-dollar a year debt we pile on top of what we already have, the budget deficit. During the debates you probably remember several exchanges about the deficit, but neither candidate offered a proposal to eliminate it, they only proposed to close it, cut it down a little bit. It sounds good to ‘close the budget deficit,’ but cutting 100 billion dollars from an already 1 trillion-dollar deficit on top of 16 trillion dollars in existing debt, would hardly solve the problem. So why don’t they try to solve the problem? Because they can’t, you won’t let them.
Our current two-party system (or, the establishment) is interested in one thing, staying in power. They can’t remain in power if you don’t vote for them, so they do things, and make promises to earn your vote. Sure you have a choice between Democrats or Republicans, but the way the platforms are set, it’s essentially a one party system, where each party takes a turn. They fight with each other, they campaign, they pander, they seem to fight some more, but when the smoke clears they remain in power. How do they remain in power? They give things away, things they don’t have. If you’re accustomed to a certain way of life, you’ve been accustomed to that way of life since birth, you’re comfortable, and you don’t want it to change. Our government seems to magically guarantee that comfort. Even though they take in less money every year (fewer people paying taxes because their jobs have gone overseas and will never come back) they have increased their spending, they had to, people have less, so they give more.
People have demanded change, they’ve demanded fiscal responsibility from our government, the only problem is, if the government was fiscally responsible, you wouldn’t vote for them. The reality is, we can’t afford Social Security, Medicare, or countless other government programs. If a politician was running for public office and said we need to get rid of these programs, you wouldn’t vote for them. In fact, they do it all the time, you have 10’s of third-party candidates and nobody ever votes for them. They don’t vote for them for three reasons. (1) They can’t win. (2) They don’t have any money. (3) They don’t promise to give things away they don’t have. Although people are unwilling to give up a certain comfort, they’re concerned that might go away, so they want their politicians to address the problem, and the politicians have. The politicians are certainly addressing the problem, they even came up with a name for it ‘the fiscal cliff,’ only they won’t do anything about it, because like I said, they can’t, it’s impossible, if they did, you wouldn’t vote for them.
If we’ve already gone over the fiscal cliff, why haven’t you noticed it yet? You actually have, in the form of inflation. Everything you buy from gas, to bread, to the clothes on your back, everything you buy costs a little bit more, the problem you have, the real problem you have, is you earn the same as you did before, and in many cases you earn even less than you did before. This is the biggest problem our government has, with you earning a little bit less, or nothing at all, they take in a little bit less, they can’t spend less, (you would remove them from power) so they’re forced to either borrow the money from countries like China, or have the Federal Reserve simply print more money. So that’s what they do, and that’s what they will always do, they have to. The trick is doing it without you noticing, without you feeling the pain. They do this by doing things gradually, by inflating our debt away slowly, hoping that you will earn more, and not really notice it (this is also referred to as the hidden tax.) As your earnings decrease, and your cost of living increases, you are faced with a dilemma, in turn our government is faced with the same dilemma. You will be forced to make choices, because if you don’t (simple math) says you’ll run out of money, you’ll go over your own personal fiscal cliff. This is what our government has done, they’ve run out of money, they ran out of money decades ago, they just printed more, and borrowed more, and you never really noticed (because they like to do things gradually.) The real problem they have isn’t that you’ve noticed, it’s that you’re finally starting to be affected, you’re finally feeling the pain. In order for them to remain in power they need to stop the bleeding, temporarily, that’s all they can do, and if they want to remain in power they’ll need to stop your bleeding too. That’s what they’re doing now, that’s why they’re talking about the fiscal cliff, they know we’re going to hit the ground, they just don’t want us to hit it to hard. To sum it up, I guess the trick isn’t so much to avoid a fiscal cliff, but to make it look more like a “gradual fiscal decline,” that way when we finally do hit the ground, it won’t hurt so bad, and our career politicians will be able to keep their jobs, and their power, which, if you haven’t noticed, is all they really care about.