Fiscal cliff averted, for now

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As the year 2012 drew to a close last month, the holiday spirit was dampened for many across the country by the agitated and concerned voices of a number of politicians and spokesmen in the nation’s capital. These legislators focused not on decorations and festive music, but rather spent their time trying to design a solution to a financial disaster that, if not evaded, had the potential to send thousands of Americans a most unwelcome gift. The looming threat to the country’s economy was known as the ‘fiscal cliff’, a shorthand term used to describe the debacle that would follow a budget control act going into effect. For days, heated negotiations passed back and forth over the party lines in Congress as legislators over the appropriate way to handle the changes caused by the new budget act. The situation appeared to be quite precarious as New Year’s Day came and went; however, on January 2nd, a bill was approved

The controversial and hotly negotiated decision was received with mixed opinions among the public. For some, the resolution came as a disappointment for a number of reasons. Those who are more right-leaning believe that the wealthy should share less of the tax burden, and so the new law seems to be a faulty and ineffective method of reducing the crippling national debt and allowing the government to function to the best of its ability. For others, however, the decision to give tax breaks to the working class and require a greater percentage from the wealthy was a welcome innovation. As it is the prevalent Democratic and left-wing opinion that those who earn the most money should be required to give the most money back to the government, the new law comes as a relief to a number of Americans struggling against the 2008 economic recession and recent high rates of unemployment. For these people, the law is a much-wanted step in the right direction as far as the economy is concerned.

Regardless of party affiliation or opinion on the right way to manage the crushing economic situation, however, both Democrats and Republicans continue to hope that the law will bring a measure of financial stability and safety to the country during such a perilous economic time.