Countdown to the fiscal cliff

After a summertime lull, a series of potentially market-moving events lie ahead, leading to a federal showdown. Here's an end-of-year cheat sheet for investors.

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60Comments
Aug 30, 2012 9:39AM
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Sorry folks but tax increases and spending cuts are going to have to happen if we are going to balance the budget and reduce federal debt. It will be painful and no one is going to like it. We are going to have to raise taxes by 50% or reduce spending by 35% or we will be another Greece.

 

Aug 30, 2012 7:16AM
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Does it really matter. We have a do nothing congress and a government that spends like an endless money pit. The cliff may be the best thing to ever happen to this country. No more tax breaks for anyone, regulated and required government spending cuts and less political finger pointing. Congress set this up by kicking the can down the road and now the can is back in sight.

This is not doomsday, it will be just another day for all of us tax paying slaves. While my taxes will go up, government spending will go down and then maybe we can finally start paying down our national debt.

If you still think all this hype is for real, then I have a bridge I would like to sell you. All this is, all this hype is Wall Street trying to scare us because the brokers and investors are going to loose the shirts off their backs. I say "It's about time".  

Aug 30, 2012 11:41AM
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Good article; however, one would have to be an idiot to believe the country can continue on its current path. Too many people EXPECT handouts while corporate executives and their boards are out of control driven by greed. Throw in the do nothings in Washington and the middle class is in a three way squeeze. We don't have anyone with the mentality or balls to lead the country. The ballot box just isn't working while the apathetic and uninformed voters continue to sell thir freedom for crumbs from Washington. I am tired of supporting socialist handouts to underserving people that can work. The fiscal cliff could be a blessing else we face massive civil unrest or even a civil war. One way or another the wasteful spending has to stop.

Aug 30, 2012 3:59PM
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"Sorry folks but tax increases and spending cuts are going to have to happen if we are going to balance the budget and reduce federal debt. It will be painful and no one is going to like it. We are going to have to raise taxes by 50% or reduce spending by 35% or we will be another Greece."

OR... recover jobs. Plain out, if you don't think 50% more in taxes is good, then we need to get rid of hired-in executive "talent" making ridiculous wages and benefits. Millions of unemployed, under-employed and no longer looking Americans aren't lazy, they're suppressed by people making 500 times what YOU are. The sooner we lop off the top, the sooner the pain will stop. There never ever was such a job as financier, nor anything good about law firms, unregulated banks and politicians benefiting from both.
Aug 29, 2012 10:42PM
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How about if either canidate just let the tax hikes stick? Since the fortune 500s are holding the good jobs up their rectum anyways let the bubble pop! Let massive amounts of folks & businesses fail then all the froth can be cleaned out of the housing market as well. Maybe if the crap had just run its course in 2008 wed be past this point of bickering by now.
Aug 30, 2012 7:55AM
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We need to let the stupid SS tax reduction expire. Great idea, bankrupt an already broken support system. That's what socialist fanatics give you.
Aug 29, 2012 10:34PM
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The impending financial cliff has been obvious to anyone who cared to look for many years.  It's a shame that President Obama continued to throw-away our tax dollars to his unionized supporters and continued corporate chronyism to Obama supporters like Solyndra, as opposed to preparing our nation for the necessary changes that MUST happen for us to survive.  If these changes don't occur, then the nation we know will be OVER, and any money we've saved in US currencies will be worthless too. Hope and change?  Instead, now let's hope FOR change!
Sep 2, 2012 6:38AM
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"Tax increases do nothing for a struggling economy. It seems everyone here is drinking the tax Kool-Aid. More taxes= bigger government spending & size. It is the opposite of what we need. We need to stop stimulus and bail outs, shrink the size of government by reducing spending, consume less, produce more, lower taxes, raise interest rates, bring back Glass-Steagall act."

 

I don't know about Kool-Aid but much of what you say here is laced with pickle juice. Tax increases may not seem correct but they will come like a Tsunami unless we stop tax evaders. Private funds have been making billions and skirting tax obligations. If you don't want higher taxes then we have to get RID of pariah. Bain Capital treated "management fees" as investments not income. If you grasp that some business executives paid Bain "an investment" to sell off it's assets dump it's personnel and give them windfall profits instead of calling it "income" then it must have been "hit" money and JAIL time would be the better solution for Bain and ilk. Stimuli and bail-outs already happened and with devasting trauma to America. Don't say "stop drilling holes in the dike" when the hole drilled in it already, have caused irreparable destruction. I think everyone who talks about smaller government and lesser expenditures needs a wake up call. I'll take a government that is precisely the size needed to run the country and the precise budget to do so. GIVEN that, business and financial sector pariah need to be put to death if they cross the line and meddle with our government. The slow death by financial control exceeds all other ways people die. You want to see Glass Steagall return? Me too. But I want segregation in more than just money touching, I want a government that governs, business that minds it's own wholly regulated business and PEOPLE who have the Rights our forefathers fought for. Romney proposes keeping the military as it is. It spends a BILLION a day in just size-funding and picks fights overseas while terrorists rape and pillage the homeland. How about bringing our people home, reconciling the entire commercial and military machine and creating a new currency, not to be hoarded but to take us into the 21st Century and beyond, not moored to Inflationistic thinking, devices and manipulation.

 

Close the banks. End the Fed. Get rid of Wall Street. If we aren't 100% invested in job recovery, we won't be here by the New Year.

Aug 30, 2012 9:17AM
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Super good job Anthony.  I don't expect you to be perfectly right on on everything; nobody who is a realist would, but knowing there is at least one person who attempts to have a vision for our future is good.  Interesting to read, share, and follow how these events do pan out.  My thoughts and feelings are still transitory.  I can feel the compression building; like anything it never goes straight up or down, and a deep frightening pall is taking shape.  I think many folks will very soon begin to question their financial survival capabilities.  The term working without a net becomes more appropriate. The wrenching from a subdued calm to a caustic gut aching period is very near. I think folks will begin listening less to Washington and more to their local government for answers.  Think small and local will replace the big Washington picture.  I feel business will become more local and we will see small business retool, reinvent, and reman.  The big boxes like Loews, Home depot, and Walmart will fade from the forefront. I am very sincere in my feeling we need interest rates to rise.  I understand clearly the effect this will have because of the monster in the room, debt!  But  without a reasonably sane return on capital we will continue to compress and provide fuel for social unrest.  Washington has spent us into a corner.  The debt and the ensuing low interest rates needed to service it will act as a straightjacket to any recovery. The perils of debt and how  to escape from it will provide the subject for economists to write about for many years to come.
Aug 30, 2012 11:57AM
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The US administration and the Congress are pathetic. Little wonder that the economy is suffering with high levels of government induced unemployment when even our elected officials won't do the job they are paid for! How pathetic! Meanwhile, the US voter is again left with a choice of one of two evils. Can't imagine why the US citizen would even care (just like their elected officials.) You see this lack of faith as abysmal participation on wall street (which is rigged through collusion of the US treasury and central bank anyway.) Nothing is more insulting then the assumption that you are stupid. No one believes the inflated asset and bond values in this deformed market. That is just how stupid we really are.
Aug 30, 2012 1:57AM
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I am going to get some bags and fill them with Coal ! Better then Gold !
Aug 30, 2012 5:03PM
Aug 30, 2012 12:57PM
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Vote Libertarian with me this 1 time.  If after 4 years you want to go back to the mess we have now you can always vote it back in. If you want more war, more taxes, more government, and less freedom vote for Obomney.
Aug 29, 2012 10:11PM
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For all I care, all the idiot sheeple can go off the financial cliff. Me and my family are headed in the other direction, the right and prosperous direction. It's actually pretty simple, but way to complex for most of the lost and delusional sheeple. Life goes on!

Aug 30, 2012 11:47AM
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If the republicans take the whitehouse, senate and house then we can expect a log jam to be released. For better or worse the economy will surge and we will retun to full employment rapidly. Banks will benefit and will begin lending again for sure. Small businesses will feel a surge of confidence because the will have an ally in the whitehouse.

If Obama wins and the democrats hold their current status we will simply limp along for another 4 years. The damage to our economy will be so long lasting that it may take 5 presidential terms to recover if that is even possible.

To quote a certain VP "this is a big %$^#%^ deal".

Aug 30, 2012 1:21AM
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We are all going to die at the end of December anyway when a meteor hits the planet.  So why does it matter?  :)

Oct 7, 2012 5:53PM
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Presidential Debate

This tells the whole story, why Bush was so bad at the end of his term. Don't just skim over this, it ' s not long, but read it slowly and let it sink in. If in doubt, check it out! The day the democrats took over was not January 22nd 2009, it was actually January 3rd 2007, the day the democrats took over the House of Representatives and the Senate, at the very start of the 110th Congress. The Democrat Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995. For those who are listening to the liberals propagating the fallacy that everything is "Bush ' s Fault", think about this: January 3rd, 2007 was the day the Democrats took over the Senate and the Congress. At the time: The DOW Jones closed at $12,621.77 The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5% The Unemployment rate was 4.6% George Bush ' s Economic policies SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of JOB GROWTH! Remember the day... January 3rd, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee. The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy? BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES! Unemployment... to this CRISIS by (among MANY other things) dumping 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic loans on the economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FIASCOES! Bush asked Congress 17 TIMES to stop Fannie & Freddie - starting in 2001 because it was financially risky for the US economy. And who took the THIRD highest pay-off from Fannie Mae AND Freddie Mac? BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA! And who fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie? OBAMA and the Democrat Congress So when someone tries to blame Bush.. REMEMBER JANUARY 3rd, 2007.... THE DAY THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER!" Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democrat Party. Furthermore, the Democrats controlled the budget process for 2008 & 2009 as well as 2010 & 2011. In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases. For 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the 2009 budgets. And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete 2009. If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets. If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself. In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is "I inherited a deficit that I voted for and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th." There is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on! "Apparently, I'm supposed to be more angry about what Mitt Romney does with his money than what Barack Obama does with mine."-
Sep 4, 2012 8:21AM
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I hope that I get this right. The tax increases in the ACA are based on our normal tax rates without the GWB tax cuts? If I'm correct on this, one is dependent on the other. The GWB tax cuts can't be extended or the ACA will not get funded. Am I right here OR how does this thing work? This 500 billion spending cut from social programs and defense---each-- is going to be heavily debated. The consensus for a deal on this one should be pretty good. Neither party wants their programs cut. I agree with most. They'll dilly dally around, but in the end it'll get done. It's the trajectory of the national debt that needs changed. Without that, the chances of another downgrade are pretty great. Oh, don't you just love politics?  
Dec 22, 2012 11:46AM
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What don't the Republicans get???  Obama won the Presidential race because the citizend of the USA sent them a message!  We are tired of the Republicans playing games with our money.  Get a clue and get this thing done!!!  The Republicans are committing political suicide...
Aug 29, 2012 10:00PM
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prepare for 2013. world isnt ending but i like the idea of a storm approaching. the more that pull out of their investments will provide more opportunities for others
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