This little special clip from the makers of the Simpsons has mean rich guy Montgomery Burns explaining 'The Fiscal Cliff' to the little people.
This is actually no worse than how the MSM has 'explained' the 'fiscal cliff' to the public. It turns out that 47% (there's that number, yet again!) of people who were asked about the fiscal cliff think that the deficit WILL INCREASE if we go over the fiscal cliff.
That's right. The combination of more taxes into the treasury and reduced spending that would result from 'going over the cliff' would result in an increased deficit, according to these folks. The MSM has succeeded in convincing the public that going over the cliff would terrible (of course, hence the name) and Republicans have succeeded in convincing America (thanks to that complicit media) that the deficit is a terrible, awful, horrible thing. Therefore, the logical conclusion is that the (horrible) fiscal cliff will result in a (horrible) deficit increasing result. Makes sense, right?
As if, the deficit doesn't normally go up all the time without dire warnings of a doomsday scenario preceeding it.
We wanted to gauge if people understood the result of the expiration of tax cuts and the start of massive, across the board budget slashing. Recall that the whole point of sequestration is to reduce the national deficit, and that the expiration of tax cuts would give the government even more revenue.As you can see from the chart - 87.4% of people have NO IDEA what will happen to the deficit if we go over the fiscal cliff. And the 12.6% who do know probably are all reading this diary right now. a
So we asked simply: Were the United States to "go over the fiscal cliff," what do you expect would happen to the National Deficit?
At least according to the CBO and most economists, the correct answer is that "It will decrease." Going over the Fiscal Cliff would, according a Congressional Budget Office study, result in a reduction in the National Deficit of $607 billion between fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
And what truly puts the cherry on top of the sundae of absurdity is the fact that the deficit is already falling, faster than at any time since World War II.
Believe it or not, the federal deficit has fallen faster over the past three years than it has in any such stretch since demobilization from World War II.
In fact, outside of that post-WWII era, the only time the deficit has fallen faster was when the economy relapsed in 1937, turning the Great Depression into a decade-long affair.
While long-term deficit reduction is important and deficits remain very large by historical standards, the reality is that the government already has its foot on the brakes.
From fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2012, the deficit shrank 3.1 percentage points, from 10.1% to 7.0% of GDP.Of course, if we go over the 'cliff', the deficit will fall even faster than it already is. So calls for reducing the deficit are just a smokescreen designed to help shred the safety net.
That's just a bit faster than the 3.0 percentage point deficit improvement from 1995 to '98, but at that point, the economy had everything going for it.
Other occasions when the federal deficit contracted by much more than 1 percentage point a year have coincided with recession. Some examples include 1937, 1960 and 1969.
President Obama hasn't gotten much credit for reining in the deficit, probably because a big part of the deficit progress has come from the unwinding of extraordinary government supports that he helped put in place.