Heidi Is Not Impressed

Heidi N. Moore has lots to say—and nothing good—about the fiscal cliff deal (“deal”) passed by the Senate early Tuesday morning: “So, after a day, and week, and year filled with manufactured drama, the US Senate not only failed its only goal – reducing the US deficit – but also built a mountain range out of the molehill of budget talks.”

And if you’re in the mood for more good (“good”) news, her piece about the longterm unemployed and how a real deal likely wouldn’t help them anyway is a doozy (“The predicament of the long-term unemployed only has a passing relationship to the fiscal cliff. There happens to be no one in the government who can put their hand up and protect the unemployed”).

Cliffhanging

"The offer makes no mention of how to handle the looming battle over the federal debt limit, nor does it offer suggestions for how the deficit-cutting framework would be put into place."

Averting the Crisis

The Onion solves the fiscal cliff crisis.

Taxing the 2 Percent

This morning, the Times has a very good discussion about the proposed tax rates President Obama will be discussing with Congressional Republicans in the coming weeks, which is part of a larger negotiation of talks about the "fiscal cliff" (if you are bored by that term and still don't know what that means, here's a primer).

Ben Says Fiscal Cliff, Paul Says Austerity Bomb, Heidi Explains All

Heidi N. Moore has a delicious translation of Speaker Boehner’s letter to Pres. Obama about THE FISCAL CLIFF, and you should definitely read it. (“We’ve been pretty clear that we don’t want to raise taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year – but if we absolutely have to, then we insist on cutting government spending on programs like social security and Medicare.”)

If this sarcasm piques your interest in the cliff and now you’re like, oh maybe I should read about that I guess, MAY I SUGGEST this thread in which Heidi and her Guardian pal Dominic Rushe answer reader questions about the fiscal cliff. Their responses are extremely readable and understandable.

FOR EXAMPLE, Heidi answered the question, “Why is it called a cliff?” super simply (TO SCARE YOU), and then explained the whole mess in four short paragraphs.

“There’s no good reason that it’s called a cliff! The phrase was invented by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke in February and everyone stuck with it.

Why the Fiscal Cliff is Called the Fiscal Cliff

Over at the Financial Times Cardiff Garcia has a great explanation about who coined the "fiscal cliff" (Ben Bernanke), why it has stuck, and why it's a dumb name ("If policymakers don’t work out a solution by January 1st, the harm is not immediate. Nor is it irreversible, nor is it even all that perilous at first.")