Questions About Booking a
LAVIN Keynote Speaker?
1 800 265 4870
The Lavin Blog
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon: Will America Go Over The Fiscal Cliff?
Politics | December 13, 2012

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon: Will America Go Over The Fiscal Cliff?

What does Gayle Tzemach Lemmon think it will take to get the American government to reach a decision on how to handle the fiscal cliff debacle? In a blog post on Reuters, she says congress will most likely go over the cliff before they pull back and decide on how to handle the ramifications. "In a Washington where lawmakers rarely move unless an impending locomotive is about to run them over," she writes, "it is hard to see how the mere possibility of a crisis can lead to action." This fiscal cliff refers to the end of the Budget Control Act of 2011. Tax increases, spending cuts and a corresponding reduction in the US budget could potentially reduce the deficit in the country by nearly half in a very short period of time, but these massive changes could potentially send the country back into a recession, increase unemployment and decrease the GDP. Presently, both sides of the political spectrum are at a stalemate and unable to reach a decision.

"Surely, some say, rational heads will prevail and the potential economic pain of the fiscal cliff and its forced spending cuts will drive leadership toward compromise," she says. "But right now the incentives leading them away from a deal are more potent—and far more immediate." It's not that they don't want to strike a deal, she explains, it's just that neither side (nor the constituents they represent) are ready to accept the terms of what a deal would mean.
"More than half [of Americans] oppose raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67," she writes,  "And nearly 60 percent 'reject the president’s demand that Congress give up power to set the country’s borrowing limit.'" Contrasting opinions are making it difficult for either side to come to an agreement—and Lemmon cites an estimate that there is only a 40 per cent chance that they will reach a decision before the end of the year. Americans may, as she says, be going over the fiscal cliff this January.

Gayle Lemmon is a Contributing Editor-At-Large for Newsweek Magazine and The Daily Beast, reporting on economic and development issues. She has a specific focus on women's issues, but is a trusted voice on broad financial and economic concerns both domestically and abroad. She writes and speaks with passion and urges us to see the potential for innovation existing all around us—and shows us that even the most unlikely candidates can get things done.
Sign up for our e-newsletter * Required
First Name *
Last Name *
Email *
I'm Interested In *