The Fiscal Cliff

Published by

We've all been hearing about the "Fiscal Cliff", which refers to the combined effect a number of policies would have on our economy beginning in January 2013. These policies include the expiration of tax cuts, tax increases, spending cuts and deficit reductions. According to the Congressional Budget Office, lower deficits and debt over time improve long-term economic growth, but there's an increased risk of recession if the deficit is reduced suddenly. There are many pending policies that have been referred to as part of the "Fiscal Cliff", and POPVOX is highlighting a few that have been introduced in the past two years. Keep checking back as we update this list to reflect the new bills Congress may introduce in response to the "Fiscal Cliff"!

Legislation Related to the "Fiscal Cliff"

Expiring Bush-era Tax Cuts from 2001 and 2003

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Not Adjusted to Inflation

2% Social Security Payroll Tax Cut Expiration

Expected to be introduced soon. Would extend a payroll tax holiday for 160 million Americans. 


  • Budget Sequestration: automatic, across-the-board cuts to federal spending to take effect on January 2, 2013 — if Congress does not act on further deficit reduction. The Sequestration requires $109 billion annually in federal spending cuts, resulting in a 9.4% reduction in defense discretionary funding and an 8.2% reduction in nondefense discretionary funding.

Expiration of Emergency Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment insurance benefits expected to expire for two million people on Dec. 29.

Medicare Payments to Doctors Reduced

Affordable Care Act Takes Effect

Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill doesn't imply a POPVOX endorsement in any way. Rather, we're simply trying to offer one more way to stay informed of an overwhelmingly complex legislative system.