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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The NYT Q&A on the "Fiscal Cliff" Is Not Very Helpful

The NYT Q&A on the "Fiscal Cliff" Is Not Very Helpful

Wednesday, 10 October 2012 05:11

The piece, titled "understanding the fiscal cliff" never once mentions the fact that there is not really a cliff. Almost nothing happens to the economy if we reach the end of the year without an agreement on taxes and spending. This point is well explained in another NYT piece today.

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written by David, October 10, 2012 6:33
What fiscal cliff? I see a.fiscal slope.
written by skeptonomist, October 10, 2012 8:11
Nothing particularly devastating happens on the day the cuts go into effect, but people do have to plan economic moves ahead. In other contexts, such as the supposed effect of raising the inflation target, Dean and other economists think that future Fed and government policies have important effects. Unless decision-makers have faith that Congress will draw back from the "cliff", they will have to change their plans based on the perceived likelihood that the cuts will take effect. This would have to start even before the drop-dead date, and would likely accelerate as the date is actually passed.
written by jerry, October 10, 2012 9:12
Dean, Dean, come now! You're veering too far off the scripted mainstream media guidelines. There IS a huge fiscal cliff that will swallow up our grandmothers and children, and us hapless Americans will now be slaves of the Chinese - whipped and bruised from working in their fields after the Apocalypse comes on January 1st.

To avoid this, we should all embrace Wall Street for its selfless dedication to the common good, and kindly allow it to take control of our social security contributions.
written by Last Mover, October 10, 2012 11:44
Is this the Austerian Debt Reduction Cliff reported on Mon Wed and Fri by Mary Matalin or the Keynesian Spending Cliff reported on Tues Thur and Sat by James Carville?

Inquiring but dimmed minds want to know.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.