See through politics

Political issues in every day terms

Don’t forget what brings you joy

“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves, that you forget, truly forget….how much you have always loved to swim.”
Tyler Knott Gregson

I would like to include in this blog quotes that remind us of who we are and who we want to be. Things that other people have said that may speak to you and may inspire you to go out and do something, be someone. This is one that does that for me.



The Fiscal Cliff

So as soon as the election was over I started hearing about this “fiscal cliff” and I had no idea what it was. All I knew was that it sounded scary and the consequences sounded similar to what happened in 2008. So I took to the internet to gain some knowledge and this is what I found:

Back in February 2012, Ben Bernanke (Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve) told the House Financial Services Committee that Congress needed to agree on a budget deal by January 1, 2013. He said that if this did not happen the country would face ” a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases.”

The tax cuts that he speaks of are the Bush-era tax cuts and many many many other tax cuts and tax breaks that have been put in place over the last several years. Here are some of them that will expire come January 1, 2013:

– Tax credits for families with children and deductions for married couples.

– Tax credits from 2009 for low-income earners and college students.

– The Social Security tax cut from 2010. This would cost a person making $50,000 an extra $1,000 per year.

– About 80 tax breaks that were given mostly to businesses.

– There will also be a rise in income, investment gains, dividends, and estates taxes.

Because of the 2011 debt-ceiling crisis, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011. This called for a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. They are charged with creating a deficit-reduction plan. The penalty for not doing this is that there will be a huge cut in defense and domestic programs, to the tune of $85 billion. The thought was that if they threatened with spending cuts in those areas, they would certainly feel the urgency of needing to come up with a plan.

What else is adding to this perfect storm?

– Medicare has proposed to cut its payments by $11 billion. This could cause hospitals and doctor’s offices to cut jobs.

– Extended unemployment benefits will be ending for about 2 million people.

What happens if January 1 2013 comes and goes with no agreement? Tax cuts will expire, everyone’s taxes will go up, our defense and domestic programs will lose funding. What could that mean to the individual person?

– Middle income families will see an increase in their taxes, about $2,000 a year. I personally have almost never paid taxes because my income has always been modest, but I see this as a reduction in the refund that I usually get.

– Because of the uncertainty, stocks could plunge.

– Up to 3.4 million jobs could be lost and unemployment could rise to 9.1 percent.

– Companies would likely put off hiring and expanding and may in turn tighten their belts even further.

So… This is the abbreviated version of this issue. How does this relate to you? What can you do in your own personal life now that you know what this “fiscal cliff” is about? How can you prepare? Did you learn something new by reading this?

Thanks for taking the time. I hope you feel a little more empowered and knowledgeable.


How does it apply to me?

Hello all!

I was inspired this morning as I was listening to the radio and they were talking about politics. I realized that many of us care about our country but it is all so convoluted and complicated that we would rather just tune out and let the chips fall as they may rather than take the time to make sense of it all.

I am going to try to take topics and issues and translate them into our language so that we may be able to understand how these things affect us all individually and we can then make better informed decisions.

I am in no way an expert in politics. You could barely call me a novice. But as I get older (I am only 30) I become more interested and curious about our political process and the consequences of our uninformed choices. I have two little kids and I worry about them and what struggles they may have to endure based on the choices we all make today.

So… if you will bare with me, I will give it my best shot.


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