By CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Picture the United States in the convertible at the end of the movie "Thelma and Louise" as it hurtles toward the cliff and the demise of the car's occupants. A bit melodramatic perhaps, but the fiscal cliff is fast approaching.
And if Congress doesn't take action before the end of the year - which is entirely possible - we're going to fall off it.
It's called a "cliff" for a reason. If nothing is done, massive spending cuts and tax increases will kick in.
The fiscal cliff also includes those automatic across-the-board spending cuts to The Pentagon and other domestic programs.
And once again as the clock ticks down, there seems to be little common ground between Democrats and Republicans:
Democrats want to raise taxes, Republicans want major changes to entitlement programs. And they want to do away with those automatic spending cuts. We've seen this movie before.
House Speaker John Boehner says 2013 should be the year we "begin to solve our debt" through tax and entitlement reform.
But don't hold your breath.
For starters, there's not that much time left for this lame duck session between their Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations. And Democrats might want to wait until January when they have a larger majority in the Senate.
Then there's always the possibility Congress settles on a smaller deal or a temporary one. Kick the can down the road once again.
But if nothing is done taxes will go up for every single American, and we will be looking at another recession next year.
None of this will be easy on Americans' pocketbooks.
Here’s my question to you: How will the fiscal cliff affect the way you handle your money?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.
By CNN's Jack Cafferty:
To say that the GOP needs to do some soul-searching in the aftermath of the 2012 election may be putting it mildly.
Mitt Romney failed to connect with the majority of American voters, but the Republicans' problem is much bigger than Romney.
As one longtime Republican leader told Politico, the GOP needs to realize it is too old, too white and too male. He might want to add "too rich." This Republican said the party must figure out how to catch up with the demographics of the U.S. before it's too late.
It's well-known that Romney lost big among key voting blocs such as Latinos, women and young voters in the states that decided the election.
That might be because as conservative CNN contributor David Frum put it, "The Republican message is no longer relevant to middle-class America."
Frum told MSNBC that it's not just that Romney lost, but that in the past six presidential elections, the GOP has lost the popular vote in five of them. Frum said that over a generation - a "once majority" party has become a "nonmajority" party.
Republican positions on issues such as women's rights and immigration are big factors here.
And it doesn't help when you have Republican candidates such as Todd Akin making completely ignorant comments about rape.
If Republicans want to start winning elections instead of losing them, they're going to have to make some changes so that they don't continue to look like they're stuck in the 1950s.
Here’s my question to you: What does the Republican Party have to do to become more relevant?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.