Some of the most famous cliffs in the world are the White Cliffs of Dover, found on the English shore. They rise dramatically out of the sea up to 350 feet high. You've probably heard a lot about another kind of cliff lately, but what does it mean?
The so-called fiscal cliff - a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases mandated by law - is set to take effect on January 1stif no action is taken in Washington. The tax rates would rise for every American, the death tax would return, the child tax credit would be reduced and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) would hit some middle class families.
The Tax Policy Center reports that it would cost average middle class families around $2,000 more in taxes per year in 2013. All told, it would be a tax increase the size of which Americans haven't seen in nearly 60 years.
In addition, across the board spending cuts would kick in. The Congressional Budget Office estimates those at $85 billion next year, with the Defense Department taking the biggest chunk.
If there is a mandate from the election, it is a mandate for both parties to work together and support economic growth. If we don't have growth, there is no way we can solve our country's massive debt problem.
Over the next few weeks, Congress and the President will work to find a solution that helps reduce our debt, but also sets the table for long-term economic growth.