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Time to Pull Back from the 'Fiscal Cliff'

Harry C. Alford | 9/19/2012, 11:57 a.m.

There is no legislation, come January 1 we will see: The expiration of the 2-year extension of the Bush tax cuts provided for in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010; the expiration of a Social Security payroll tax cut, most recently extended by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012; Across the board spending cuts to most discretionary programs as directed by the Budget Control Act of 2011; The expiration of federal unemployment benefits; New taxes imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010; The expiration of measures delaying the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate from going into effect; and The reversion of the Alternative Minimum Tax thresholds to their 2000 tax year level.

And that's just on January 1. The rest of the damage will all occur by the end of March.

Failing to write legislation will have global implications. Nations holding our debt, such as China, Japan and Great Britain, will start panicking. Our dollar will start shrinking. Our economic growth will slow to about 1 percent during 2013. It all sounds very frightening - and it is! If the Senate and House decide to act, they will do it during the appropriately named "lame duck" session after the elections. We should all pray that they do.

Harry Alford is the co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: halford@nationalbcc.org.