15 better names for the 'fiscal cliff'

Help us find a better term for the coming onslaught of spending cuts and tax increases that’s currently known as the “fiscal cliff.”

By The Fiscal Times Nov 14, 2012 4:19PM
By Blaire BriodyThe Fiscal Times logo

The name “fiscal cliff,” coined by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke last February, refers to the $671 billion in spending cuts and tax increases coming in early 2013. The phrase is admittedly better than other wonky Washington language (I’m looking at you, QE3), but really, couldn’t the media come up with a better, catchier name? Other names that have been thrown around include taxmageddon (not bad), the fiscal slope (yawn), and the austerity crisis (confusing), but they haven’t stuck like The Cliff.

The problem is the fiscal cliff isn’t even entirely accurate. While letting these tax increases and spending cuts go though could toss the economy into another recession, chances are slim that Congress and the White House will let that happen. Even if we do “fall off the cliff” on January 2nd, we could technically climb back up if a new fiscal policy is put in place quickly. So instead of a cliff where you fall off and never go back, it’s likely going to be more like a “Fiscal Dip” (which kind of sounds like a fun dance).

Even comedian John Stewart has poked fun at the fiscal cliff lexicon, but all he could muster up was a reference to Thelma and Louise. We have a few suggestions, but we’d love to hear your ideas and have you vote for your favorite. The fiscal cliff occurs within weeks of the Mayan calendar doomsday prediction. And if we’re competing with the Mayans, let’s come up with a name that might actually make it into the Oxford English Dictionary.  Here are a few suggestions:

1. Econopocalypse
2. Money Fall
3. Bernanke’s Bluff
4. Ar-money-geddon
5. Budget Bedlam
6. Crash Landing
7. Night of the Living Debt
8. Solvent Green
9. Budget Cutpocalypse
10. Budget Brouhaha
11. Fiscal Doomsday
12. Hurricane Sandy's Mistress
13. The Fiscal Kerfuffle
14. The Deficit Strikes Back
15. Dawn of the Debt

Blaire Briody is the Life+Money editor at The Fiscal Times. Subscribe to The Fiscal Times' FREE newsletter.

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Nov 16, 2012 1:12PM
After those  two comment's made by Dr Kildearheart, what more can be said?
Nov 15, 2012 12:17PM
FYI - His name is spelled Jon Stewart, not John Stewart.
Middleclass people in their 20s to 40s don't have a chance with the higher debt and health care costs...they will get crushed.  A trillion dollars in debt every year.  Young people do not understand the consequences, yet it is OK with them for politicians to buy their vote with extra benefits. The zombies are coming and, unlike in the movies, they will win.
Nov 26, 2012 10:14AM
How about "Barry's Blunder" or "Hussein's Horror Show"?  If you hire amateurs, you get what you deserve.  Thanks to the 51% (Mittens wrong, the entitlement nation is larger then even he thought it was) for forcing us into fiscal quicksand and mediocrity for the next 4 years.  What a nation of sheep we've become.  "And they danced in the streets as Rome burned...."
Nov 24, 2012 4:39PM


The Fiscal Cliff has many faces, and one of the faces is the perpetual opposition of Senator McCain to all the beneficial things president Obama wants to do for the economy, also the House of representatives is full of very antagonistic Tea party, and Republicans members that seems to have an a hearty pleasure in wanting to destroy Obama, and all of us the people!

The one that needs to retired is Senator McCain for his continues attack on the Obama’s administration, and his poor judgment in foreign policies since all the blunders he perpetuate in fomenting the Iraq war, and now his new attack trying to annihilate our Ambassador for the UN, Susan Rice.                                

The topic of discord about our UN Ambassador Susan Rice came up frequently in the news lately. The complaint coming from Senator McCain and Senator Graham saying   she purposely concealed information about the Bengahzi attack, and expressing their feelings she was not qualified to present the report to the American people. It was well understood by all listeners when she first gave the report it was only to inform the American public of the riots events at that time in Benghazi, and no more. When Mr. McCain said Miss Rice was not qualified to give the report of the attack, we got very upset to his wrong interpretation, much later to become and unjust persecution, and relentless discredit of the performance of our UN Ambassador. As it was confirm later, she was faithfully doing her assignment in the light of the unclassified document given to her of the situation in Benghazi at the time! The whole USA, knows well of Senator McClain erroneous selection, and protection of Sara Palin when running for VP, she evidently had the poorest qualifications for the job, she may have created a permanent irreparable damaged to our country had she been elected as a VP. With all our honest respects to the Senator, he has made other mistakes during his brilliant career. We think the Senator true motives for the creation of this newly pre meditated havoc over the unpredictable Benghazi attack is his dislike for our president Mr. Obama, and it’s is clearly showing. This worthless loss time the Senator is putting on a lackluster efforts in the persecution on the innocent UN Ambassador should stop, he should be concentrating eagerly on helping the America workers get fruitful paying jobs, and reducing the trillion of dollars Deficit Budget by helping increasing the tax to the very rich that have made millions with the sweat of the long oppress middle class since the Bush presidency!

Nov 24, 2012 4:16PM




Wake up America!

Boehner has selected Paul Ryan to work the necessary police changes to do the proper Medicare, and Social Security cuts. The problem here is that the proposed policies changes will greatly affect the pockets the young and the old, Are the House of Representatives members mentally very sick? They are strongly determined to destroy the middle class as Romney, and Ryan wanted to have it done post election if winning the White House! Obama is the president, we won the elections, and they have a Mandate from us to increase the tax on the rich, to help the Fiscal Budget burden, and to cut tax for the middle class! Do not to touch Medicare, SS, and Medicaid. Year after year, the House Tea Party members led as before by the indolent Ryan, keep wanting to decrease tax for the rich, junking Medicare, and SS. We forcefully rejected Romney/ Ryan undisclosed policies plans against the middle class, and other cuts they were hiding to perpetrate political abuses on the American people. And now, Boehner gives Ryan the privileged to get even with the 47%, because no VP job for him! We totally despised Ryan Budgeting Plans before, and now. He's getting even with us Democrats lead by the anti-American Boehner! We are telling our President Mr. Obama, that we are good and ready to Fall of the Cliff, but not to give the Republicans one single concession to their favor! This is a disgrace against the people of America; we won the elections, not them. Who are they to keep telling us what to do, stop this Congress Constitutional abuse of the working people of America year after year? The country is hungry and they are all rich in the House of Representatives, unless they think we have no fighting spirit in us the 47 %. Mr. President, make Congress listen to the loud voice of the people, we will fight until we win!

Nov 21, 2012 10:10AM

Most blue collar workers are use to pay cuts. So a tax hike is no big deal. We will live in the same house and most likely drive same car. But ceo who get 60% rises and  the rich are crying. They been getting hand outs since Ronald Reagan. Same year are national debt started going up and only one person lower in thirty years and that was jimmy carter. He knew how to ask no to his kids!!!


Nov 16, 2012 8:49AM

"Fiscal Precipice"!


At the precipice...America change!


Nov 16, 2012 4:09PM
Chicken Run II:  Who Blinks First?
Nov 15, 2012 2:45PM

Wake up America!

It seems nothing has change, we just finish an election, and we have to listen to Ryan the liar advancing his wonderful ideas of how handle the coming Fiscal Cliff, this guy needs to realized, Mr.Obama is President. We just herd Mr.Boehner give his talk a few days ago about the Fiscal Cliff, and other economic situations he thinks he has the answer how to it fix, as usual! The things he said that infuriated many of us much was his statement that he wishes the elections had turned out another way, we thought it was an improper remark for the Speaker of the House to make, indicating one more time his personal feelings rather than showing a professional dedication to his job, lacking the vision to work fruitfully for the citizens of the USA. He’s contending us one more time in his own personal hypocritical super bully hero attitude! He has a recurrent amnesia problem like Mr. Romney had, and seems to be having troubles learning, and accepting from the American people the facts after the election. Sir, Mr.Boehner? Are you there in the House of Representatives? We just elected Mr. Obama as your President for another four years. We all truly hope you and your followers not trying to perpetuate the same old anxious lyrics coming from the mindless abusive House of Representatives, following yours and theirs perpetual intransigency and mental aberration in insisting in no tax increase for the rich, and emphatically suggesting cutting the entitlements programs. Your wrong ideology shows all of you wanting to sink our old citizens deeper in a hole of hunger, and miser their health care. Come to your senses, all of people in Medicare have earned their Medicare after years of dutiful work, but remember as you try your dirty tricks on them one more time, as you all well known for a long time, the SS is not a part in any of these talks, so make sure not to monkey with it! Keep holding back America, and fighting for the very rich, while 46 million Americans are in poverty, and I promise, we will never ever forget all of you in the House of Representatives. Be smart, work for the people that have waited over four years to overcome your permanent intransigency in helping the American people, we put you there; it’s your responsibility to the people!

Nov 15, 2012 3:12PM


We are awaiting impatiently the coming Fiscal Cliff confrontation with the President versus the House of Representatives. It’s imperative the rich pay a little more money to improve our economy, and to pay our Fiscal Debt. Fiscal changes our citizens want now to make America a better place to live, to pay our Nation Bills to correct the deficit! And then, of course! Mr.Obama, may needs to get ready to clip for last time, Mr.Boehner wings. We think, one way or another, Mr.Bohener, Ryan, Cantor will return to the old times tricks of bartering one goods for another, like many times before, but we aren’t going to be the losers this time, all that past abuse was very, very humiliating to our citizens, you, and all your followers Tea Party and Republican Members in the House, so much poor of conscience, and careless for the future of our country. You, and the full House members have obstructed the President too much, too many times, much too far! Mr.Bohener, keep playing hero, telling the president how to fix the Economy, listen, one more time it’s getting old, and we, all of us, millions of us, are awaiting impatiently for the fairness created by our president with this new Congress. We are here, all of us, late at night, awaiting in front of our TV sets, the final results of the efforts from yours/our president Obama, to dismantled the infernal machine of your House of Representatives budget locks, and cut your engines power, with all of you aboard members, all of yours live gifted millions of dollars provided by the sweat and work from our backs, in our great nation of purposely induced by you all, a systemic cruel land of hunger of the American people. You all Tea party and Republican members are the abusers, continuous negation to work for the people, by the people, and only for the people, and in 2014, we will let all of you feel the powerful winds of anger from all the guts of the millions American citizens that will not take it again from you, or anyone like you! We have too much hunger in our country, and you need to help now!

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