How will the fiscal cliff affect the way you handle your money?
November 13th, 2012
03:48 PM ET

How will the fiscal cliff affect the way you handle your money?

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.

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Filed under: Money
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. David in Mississippi

    Well first off, I will have less of it. Other than that I'll just have to wait and see how bad it effects the rest of the economy.

    November 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  2. wayne, va beach, va

    That I can be certain, only my federal income tax. I;m sure I will be effected in other ways that I have no control over.

    November 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  3. John from Alabama

    Jack: I will not invest money in anything until the fiscal cliff is fixed. I want compromise between Republicans and Democrats. I do not want just no, and Grover Norquist and the Tea Party can go somewhere to say no, and it is my way or the highway. The no for no sake folks can go fly a kite. President Barack Obama won the election, and the someone needs to apologize for their attitude since 2008, Senator McConnell.

    November 13, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  4. Gary H. Boyd

    There is a remarkable similiarty between what's happening in America today and what happened in Germany after World War One. Back then the value of the German Mark fell to the point it took a wheel barrow full of Marks to buy a head of lettuce. I see the same thing about to happen here so I'm converting all my money into One Dollar bills and, since I already own a wheel barrow, I'll be in great shape to buy all the lettuce I need.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    November 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  5. jk in MN

    I'm fairly conservative with my spending and debt already and it's working great for me. I'm not going to change my behavior unless my circumstances who radically change.

    November 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  6. Mel - Houston

    It will require almost no change at all, Jack. The reason is if you have nothing you will not have to do nothing. It's pretty simple when your only goal is survival. Your question is really aimed at the 1%, the people with all the money and the unobservant that still believe in the trickle down effect.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
  7. Charley in New Mexico

    What money ??????

    November 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  8. Doug Ericson

    I have already become a vedgetarian, ( dairy and eggs not included), in response to high meat prices. If I was squeezed any further, I might have to figure out a way to quit smoking. They already shrunk the storebrand hamburger rolls, I use for my egg sangwitches sometimes. The hamburger rolls look funny, they are so small now, what are you supposed to put on them, a pepperoni slice? Whatever they end up doing about the fiscal cliff, they are going to lie about it, and the folks that can least afford it are going to get wacked the hardest. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  9. Eugene Myers Flat, CA

    Howdy Jack,
    With Obama as president, it won't matter. Obama is going to march America right over the cliff, in a manner that would make Saul Alinsky very happy. Cash is king so hang on to it.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  10. Charles

    What money?

    November 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  11. Michael Bindner if Alexandria, VA

    The cliff matters not at all unless the part in it that cuts spending leaves me without a job. If they go forward with tax increases but not spending cuts, I will likely be working and it will be no issue. I have so many bigger expenses that a $5 to $20 a week difference in my income and payroll taxes means nothing.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  12. Ruth in Indianapolis

    It already does. I am 76 and retired. I receive social security after paying into it for 46 years. Although I have some other retirement income and some savings, I am trying to spend less since I don't know what will happen next. I am angry because I worked all my life, saved what I could, hardly ever took vacations, don't have a good TV, drive an old car, etc. Now I'm worried. I guess that what I did wrong was to be born into a poor family. That seems to be the great immorality of our times.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  13. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    When one knows that there's a cliff ahead, you start to pump the brakes well before you are near the edge of the cliff. I started to pump my brakes on my personal spending months ago once i realized that we had a Congress more interested in their own agenda's than they were the welfare and financial health of the country.

    November 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  14. Steve

    Hummm....who coined the phrase "putting it under the mattress?"


    November 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  15. Ann from Charleston, SC

    I will handle my money the way I always have – thoughtfully and carefully. Actually I am more worried about the fact that the South Carolina Revenue Department was hacked than I am about the fiscal cliff. I think Congress will wiggle their way out of their mess. I'm not so confident the SC government knows what it is doing.

    November 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  16. maoriora

    The 99% have been handling our money as carefully as we can.

    President Obama insisting on the 1% contributing their share will boost consumer confidence and speed recovery. Top gear is still down the road.

    November 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  17. Rich Texas

    What Money? I know what money was but since gasoline doubled in price and the economy tanked who has any extra money to invest or spend? The interest that will now be owed on dividends after Jan 1st it is no longer feasible to invest in the economy or stocks. People will hold on to what little money they might have left so tightly the economy will not be able to recover. That will mean more job losses. More unemployment and more taxes used to pay for those people instead of paying down the debt. The only light I see at the end of the tunnel is another on coming train Jack.

    November 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  18. Wilhelm in Las Vegas

    from what I see it will not effect me at all, Jack. all "OFF the CLIFF" really does is get rid of the Bush tax cuts and cuts the Military which NEEDS to be reined in.

    and btw, IF the Republicans DON'T go for Obama's proposals, they are STILL NUTS. the people MOST angry about his proposals are LIBERALS because it trims Social Security and Medicare

    November 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  19. Jim in Illinois

    Whatever happens, I will be sending more of it to our socialist government so they can redistribute it to the slackers.

    November 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  20. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    I refuse to believe that there is a fiscal crisis in America. Isn't it obvious by the amount of money spent during this recent election cycle that there is certainly no lack of cash floating around? I say let the sequestration happen, make Republicans take the blame for getting our credit rating downgraded, again, and tar and feather guys like Grover Norquist and Mitch McConnell.

    November 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  21. jen seattle wa

    Its stimple . I am gonna get a gun and rob a bank so i can get the loan i need to start a business that ,due to corp america allowed to finance debt while allowed huge bonuses that result in currency drying up, I will be justified as long as i dont hurt any one..

    November 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  22. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    It won't. And who is this guy "fiscal cliff" anyway?

    November 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  23. Rich Texas

    II feel a country Western song coming up on just this very topic.

    I use to have money till the government stepped in,

    They managed the economy down the toilet again,

    Our children had a future just a few short years back,

    But now their future is the ragged shirt on their back,

    Our congress knew best as they spent at top speed,

    They sold out the country lock, stock, and deed,

    We all learned a lesson we must never forget,

    Those folks in congress just don't know their s-.

    November 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  24. Jenna Roseville CA

    How will the fiscal cliff affect the way you handle your money?

    I am not on a fiscal cliff with MY money. I am frugal. My house is paid in full. My car is paid in full. I have no credit card debt of any kind. I spend within my means.

    As for Congress, well they are another story. Under GW they spent our hard earned tax dollars like drunken sailors. Hid the credit card bills like scared wives. And then blamed their new husband for everything they did in the past. Now they want to take away funds from the new husband to punish him.

    Mark my words, here is what the Republicans are going to go after.. They are going to stop Mortgage Deducations, Dependent Care Deductions, Charitable Contribution Deductions, better known as the last remaining Middle Class Deductions to "Close the Loopholes". THIS WILL NOT FLY.

    What needs to happen is for us to go to the Clinton tax brackets. And we need to close the loop holes to the wealthy.. those loopholes that keep them from paying a pennies worth of taxes for years.. And we need to do the same for corporaitons.

    Lastly we need to ensure that our people are employed here. The way you do that is to make laws that protect our workers. How? Simply, you want to sell here then your products you want to sell here must be manufacured here. You want to provide a service here – well we have people that can provide your service to our people here .. We need to close the loopholes that give tax breaks for shipping our jobs to CHINA, INDIA, etc..

    I am sure that the KOCH BROTHER and SHELDON ADELSON Republicans are going to have a rough go of it because we are not going to roll over on this one.

    Roseville CA

    November 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  25. Kenneth in California

    It won't affect my handling of money, I'm a working guy who has always saved and bought with cash, except the mortgage on the house. Like the government and public, the only one that has been saving is Jesus.

    November 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  26. Paul from Austin, TX

    Careful and steady did I say be careful very careful.

    November 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  27. Florida Pete

    Not enough to bother me. Actually, I'm looking forward to it, because driving the economy off a cliff is the ONLY way to get the Repubs to pay attention to anyone besides their rich masters demanding more tax cuts for the wealthy. It's like training a mule – first you gotta hit it in the head with a two by four, just to get its attention. Give 'em hell, Obama, we are TIRED of the Repubs putting party and politics before America. Man up, Repubs – you took a beating and now you need to understand WHY. Get rid of your dinosaurs and your crazies.

    November 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  28. Brian in Las Vegas

    We live paycheck to paycheck anyway... we either spend the money we take in to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table or we don't. Its not really much of a choice.

    The only reason we face the fiscal cliff is due to GOP unwillingness to make any compromises during President Obama's first term in hopes of preventing a second term. The recent election should show that the nation will not stand for obstructionist politicians any more. They need to grow up and be statesmen (people). Neither the right nor the left should get everything they want. We need for those rocket scientists in DC to actually negotiate with each other this time around, or 2014 will be a further trimming of the dullest memebers of congress who don't seem to realize they are there to represent their constituents – not their party line.

    November 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  29. Ed from California

    Jack, we all need to pay our fair share, if we want to live in this great country of ours. If the likes of Grover Norquist and fat head Rush, and those they represent don't want to pay their fair share in taxes.....then don't. There are trains, planes and automobiles leaving this country everyday....be on it. Or, as may dad would so eloquently say, "Don't let the door hit you in the a*s on your way out".

    November 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  30. bob z.

    real people don't stand a chance with obama as pres we are the ones who get hit with paying more in taxes the co. will only put the hick on there prices

    November 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  31. Blinders Full of Balorney Malarkey Mitt Robme

    Let us hit the "fiscal cliff"!!!!!...............IT'S LONG OVERDUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It's been10yrs since we had the GW BUSH TAX CUTS, but we ended up with 2 WARS, MEDICARE PART D, a DEEP RECESSION, and record breaking profits with WALL STREET FAT CATs & BIG OIL...and ZERO, NADA, ZILCH JOB CREATION!!!!!!!!!

    Now it's time to let the GW BUSH TAX CUTS EXPIRE & DIE PERMANENT DEATH FOR ALL AMERICANS!!!!!...It's time for AMERICANS to PAY BACK its DEBT and I'm a die-hard DEMOCRAT!!!!!!

    I'm willing to give up my homestead exceptions and child tax credits to save AMERICA....how about you my GOP friends?!!!!!!

    Let's move FORWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Felix Jaheim, Atlanta, GA

    November 13, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  32. l

    I'd make more money on unemployment if all this happens on January 1.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  33. Al

    What money? Many Americans have not yet recovered from the 2008 and face the issue of replacing lost savings. A more sympathetic question would have been "How will the fiscal cliff affect your ability to replace the assets you lost in 2008?"

    November 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  34. Dave, Kissimmee, Fl

    It won’t affect me. I have no money left to handle. But I have absolute faith in Congress’ ability to kick the can right over the cliff, so bring it on.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  35. BrainTurnedOff

    Emigrate to South America. The fiscal cliff will put the U.S. further down internationally for years to come, with China emerging as the only superpower at the end. But fear not, this is not going to happen. Across-the-board spending cuts would also affect the salaries of the member of Congress, wouldn't it?

    November 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  36. Gigi Oregon

    The Country has three problems as I see it. (1) The republicans don't seem to get it... the people have chosen for them. It's President Obama's and the people's way or the high-way. The republicans lost the people, in their greed attempt in voter fraud and Super PAC money. If they think "we the people" don't have a vote try it again and we will speak even louder. We know NOW the only thing to fear is fear it's self. (2) How is the church going to stop the decline of it's membership now that it has dumped the Lord and his mandate to care for the poor, elderly and the strangers in our land etc...for the god of Capitalism. (3) Government has a need to clean up the corruption of lobyist in government. We are not free, if money can buy our Representatives to work against the people. Pledges need to be stopped...and punishments need to be given to those guilty.

    My advice is to let God take care of the sinner and let the people take care of our country under God's mandate of caring for "We the people" and the welfare of our nation...and if the rich need to pay a little more in tax. So be it. They just paid out for nothing, billions...and lost.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  37. Bob in Ohio

    Like most Americans I have been living on the edge of the cliff since the start of the Bush era in 2000, so this step a little closer will go almost unnoticed.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  38. Mr. D

    "Kick the can down the road." Only this time the can will go over the cliff, and probably take a lot of politicians with it, if not the whole country. Guess it's time to free-fall into the world of make believe, oops, we are already there.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  39. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Obviously, we will be even more conservative in our spending habits than we already are. We won't be contributing to anymore political campaigns and might even ask for a refund from those we already contributed to. Charitable contributions are going to take a big hit as well.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  40. Nancy, Tennessee

    When you live on a shoestring already, it's hard to cut your spending in order to prepare for the ride over the cliff. It will be an easier trip for the ones on the bottom because they have less distance to fall. The wealthiest Americans are who we should worry about. They may have to postpone buying a new luxury car or a second vacation home.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  41. Ed from Texas

    Jack, according to the Mayan Calendar, the world will end Dec 21st; so why worry about going over the fiscal cliff on Dec 31st?

    November 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  42. ken, atlantic city, nj

    The so called fiscal cliff is actually the solution to the 16 Trillion dollar debt problem. If congress does nothing the bush tax cuts will end, and the military will be cut by 50 billion a year for 10yrs and it will generate 6 Trillion in debt reduction over 10yrs, whic is 2Trillion more than the obama plan.. What is wrong with the fiscal cliff. 23 million people are out of work now so what is another 500 k are put out of work by the fiscal cliff. If congress doesn't want to solve the debt problem now when will they do it? If not now when will they address the 100T debt problem for entilements like ss/medicare/medicaid.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  43. Larry in Houston

    How will the fiscal cliff affect the way you handle your money ?
    Indeed, we've all seen this movie before. No truer words said, than in your post, Mr. Cafferty. Pitiful, isn't it ? Sad is more like it. I suspect they will wait til Jan. when they have more control in the senate – but if it would have been a Romney regime, then Boehner would have waited til January anyway, for the majority of control. By the time Congress convenes for their Thanksgiving & Christmas Holidays, there might be a week or so, to make some type of decision, to discuss & vote on the Voters Business, between now & the New Year.

    Now to the answer to your question. I've been handling my money in this order : First, I ask myself : Is this something I actually Need ? or is it something that I Really Want ?

    Wants & Needs. There IS a difference. ( and getting by with something that you can take time to fix, If it can be fixed) before purchasing something New)

    November 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  44. Brad, Portland, OR

    I think we SHOULD go over the fiscal cliff, and let all those tax cuts expire.

    Then on Jan. 2, we can negotiate tax CUTS for the 99%, instead of tax INCREASES for the 1%, which Grover Norquist won't allow the Republicans to do. Which means any negotiation in the lame duck session is pointless, because Republicans can't negotiate in good faith while being beholden to Grover Norquist.

    We can also reduce the amount of the required spending cuts, so they won't be so painful or damaging to the economy.

    I think this is actually the best solution for the country.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  45. Ed from MD

    About the same except now i give it away expecting a little something in return, after the cliff then you just give it away.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  46. Ima Rose

    Let it go over the cliff.
    It is time to let the wealthy take up their part.
    They have been getting off easy for 12 years and they are getting heavy to carry around.
    It hasn't worked.
    How many jobs have they made happen by paying NO or very little taxes? NONE.
    Ready, brace yourself, here we go.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  47. Pete in Georgia

    Money ?? What money ??
    After the 93 separate and different taxes my measley dollars are assaulted with there isn't enough anymore to even be concerned with.
    Our clever federal government has seen to that.
    Lets not pretend it's any different.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  48. David of Alexandria, VA

    As a business owner, I will do what I have been doing for the past four years - wait for the uncertainty to clear before I expand, hire or dare to envision the future. As an individual not far from retirement, I will try to adjust my portfolio to try to avoid the tax increases and market volatility or having to recover from yet another meltdown. In other words, I'll just do nothing or play defense until we get some leadership at both ends of the National Mall in Washington. I'll contribute my fair share of inertia to perpetuate the moribund economy, like everyone else who would otherwise be happy to help.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  49. Donald Desaulniers (Belleville, Ontario)

    It's scary!!
    Now whenever I get an American penny in my change, I have to rush down to my bank to exchange the soon to be worthless coin for a solid Canadian penny.
    What's even scarier is that the Canadian mint will soon be discontinuing our one cent coin. I've got to dream up some other use for those pesky American pennies. Can you think of anything, Jack?
    By the way, the concept of the "fiscal cliff" is just as bogus as your politicians' feigned concern prior to the election for the wellbeing of America's struggling middle class. If America doesn't balance its budget soon, the rest of the world will find no use for your once proud greenback except as toilet paper.

    November 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  50. Jack Dempsey

    Jack, You mean both dollars? Maybe I'll Check the couch for some change for the Tax on a quart of beer. Jack From Nice, Ca.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  51. Jeff In Minnesota

    What an understatement Jack. You think it will be hard on American pocketbooks? Why don't you call as what it will be, it will create a lot of misery. We have two generations of leaders that have kicked this can down the road and now we've run out of road. We have to fix this once and for all so that the next generations do not make the same mistakes we have.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  52. DaleW in Lowell MA

    What money? I've been un and underemployed since 2002. Collecting SSA and hating every republican fat cat that wants to mess with it. I'm also a Vietnam era veteran and likewise hate every republican for being war mongering cheapskates when it comes to VA benefits. I'm also a father of a Marine and hate all the CONservative saber rattling with regards to the middle east.
    The only cliff we should be dealing with is the one we should be pushing at least half the elected representatives over.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  53. Karl in Flint, MI

    The movie premiering on the first of January is called "Rollover Grover". Scene one. We step off the fiscal "curb" and leave Grove Norquist standing at the bus stop. The tax breaks expire and the spending cuts kick in. Fade to black. New scene. Now the GOP's in Congress, considering their mandate from this election, can still stick to old Grover's pledge and cut taxes for the middle and lower incomes, retroactive to the first of the year, along with modifying the spending cuts and they haven't technically raised anyone's taxes. They just leave the higher rates in place for the upper brackets, and it's... fade to black... cut... print...

    November 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  54. PeterTO

    Using the term "fiscal cliff" is a scare tactic since it suggests going past a fatal point of no return. In reality it's more like a "fiscal giant pothole" that temporarily throws you off, can do a lot of immedate damage, but longer term is just another bump in the road.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  55. Jim Charlotte NC

    Hard for things to change when you don't have anything to begin with. Bush got it all a few years back.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  56. Martha Brooks

    Don't have any money to handle...went over fiscal cliff a long time ago!

    Martha, Rew, PA

    November 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  57. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Jack, I don't know how it will affect other Americans, but as for me, I will likely not be going on vacation anytime soon. It's time Boehner puts his money where his mouth is and do what he says he's willing to do: compromise. Ignore McConnell and the Teapublicans, and cement the final collapse of the Tea Party movement once and for all. President Obama should also show some flexibility in the talks, and not become so grounded in what the Democrats want that it makes Boehner less likely to accept compromise.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  58. Midwest Jim

    Compromise, Compromise, Compromise–or else in 2014 we oust the rest of the obstructionists following a new recession.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  59. Jarhead4life

    Handle what money? If they raise my taxes I wont have any money left to handle? There should not be any Thanksgiving nor Christmas holiday for anyone in Washington until they get this solved. And kicking the can down the road is not a solution. There must be cuts and raise the taxes on the wealthy.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  60. maggie

    MONEY? What money Jack.! who has money?

    November 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  61. Daniel in Kitty Hawk

    What money?

    November 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  62. Paige Hudson

    I'd rather pay more tax if everyone is than pay more tax while the rich get a tax cut because it somehow is going to trickle down to me...NOT!

    November 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  63. Whit in CA.

    Money? What money? I don't save a dime now, won't then either.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  64. Kristen

    What money? I'm on social security and food stamps. My social security check goes to bills and the food stamps cover one week of food. The fiscal cliff is irresponsible behavior on the part of the Congress. How will they be spending our money is the more pertinent question.
    Kristen, Idaho Falls

    November 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  65. robert brown

    jack it wouldn't make any difference because the ecomony already bad the repulbican need to get off that high horse they riding and do something about it won't hurt to raise taxes on the rich because they got it come on help the middle class out

    November 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  66. Gaby

    Cliff? what cliff? So many people fell from it a long time ago. Have you checked the unemployment rate in Black America lately?

    November 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  67. JC in PA

    Bring it on. Don't we all want the deficeit under control. It will be cut in half in 18 months with the "cliff" . A very long long term positive for 'possibly" a short term set back. Considering the hype over issues Y2K and the disasterous Tea Party suggestion of letting the US default it's debt; I suspect this will be mild in economic terms. Cut everything, raise taxes, get the deficeit and debt under control, Why pass it along to the next generation.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  68. Karen from Lexington, MA

    It won't change how I handle my money at all. I drive a Cobra convertible AND i pay off my debts as I go. No cliff in sight for me. If they shorten my pocketbook, I'll simply shorten my spending. That's the way it works. If this were a laughing matter I'd tell those lame ducks that they 'quack' me up. Sadly, it's not.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  69. Paul, Houston. TX

    The fiscal cliff does not effect those who are out of work and have lost their homes, cars, and everything else. The fiscal cliff are for those who have not been effected by the bad economy.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  70. St James Place

    How will the fiscal cliff affect the way you handle your money?

    I have little debt. The income I have coming comes from Social Security and a small retirement from my last employer. I keep three credit cards that have near zero balances. My home of 26 years is nearly paid. Thank God I have Medicare to cover the biggest part of my medical expenses. I don't think the government in Washington will let the country go over the edge. If they do most if not all of the House of Representive will be out on the street in the next election.

    The bottom line is yes we need to raise some taxes. Yes we need to make reasonable cuts to programs that don't work.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  71. George in Colorado

    We have a scary term called a cliff. The media loves it. It's our austerity program. We look down our noses at European countries going through the same thing. The politicians will either 1, not come to an agreement, 2, kick it down the road. Americans are a tough breed when not scared by politicians and the media. Let's suck it up and get on with solving the debt, as Americans.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  72. Gene

    I really think you shouldn't be such a prophet of doom. Why don't you use your precious time on CNN to encourage Congress and the White House to secure a deal that prevents going over the fiscal cliff. I do think a deal will be reach as no member of Congress, with mid term elections in 2014, will want to be responsible for reverting America to another reassion. I am not worried. I think Congress is about to be more positive, more cooperative with the WH, and we will avert the fiscal cliff.

    Gene, Toronto, Canada

    November 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  73. Linda in Arizona

    Two minutes (or was it less?) after the election FINALLY ended, out comes the "fiscal cliff". Be afraid, be very afraid. Sorry, I'm not buying it. There IS no "fiscal cliff", just more fear tactics from republicans (and republicans calling themselves Democrats), to destroy the social safety net. A big yawn to you for the question.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  74. David B

    What money Jack? everything from soup to nuts is already taxed. But, it is time the do nothing US congress (less than 10% approval) stands up and fall the newly elected President, who BTW won all but one battle ground state!

    November 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  75. Penney Wedbetter

    Money? really? are you kidding? WHAT MONEY?

    Maybe there should be an executive mandate from President Obama denying all government workers in the White House to work until a deal is hammered out. We need to stop Congress from leaving us hanging again. The President of The United States needs to demand bi-partisan agreements and stop the cliff dive!!

    November 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  76. Carl in Missouri

    Everybody around here is saying: "Republicans want to go over the cliff". and that: "It's what Cantor wants and want Cantor wants he gets". About all the Republicans signed this so-called pledge so I guess we are going over the cliff.
    It’s not taxes many of us are worried about, it’s the programs that keep us old folks alive. Well I guess the country is in a mess and if getting rid of us old burdens will save it, I’ll give one more time. See ya on the other side Jack.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  77. joe

    It won't change much because most of us – including businesses have been cautious – overly cautious since the last collapse and not buying or expaning more than needed – so this does not change this same scenerio – not at all – in addition – the cliff is only in regards to spending cuts and that needs to be addressed right away – but the tax cuts expiring – well- it will take an entire year to remove 536 billion from the economy (or to look at in another way) another year to remove 536 billion of our deficits – cutting them in half – so the tax increase part is more like a hill – well that is if people do not panic and send us into a recession – but no – not much real changein spending because most peopleand businesses are still not spending much – they are still behaving like we are in a recession anyway – that fact will minimize much of the impact.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  78. JC in PA

    Don't confuse politics with economics. Bring on the cliff it's good policy. We will survive. My money, considering the double in the stock market the last four years. I'll be ok.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  79. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    First of all Jack, whats with the drastically reduced presence of you and your Cafferty File? As for your question; I'd like to echo the premise that the tax increase Boehner and whats left of his republican party wants to avoid is actually the ending of the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy. I won't be fooled by the semantics and I hardly think that republicans are yet to give a damn about a tax increase on anybody else. Republicans sound like a broken record when they talk about this fiscal cliff issue. The people spoke loud and clear last week and rejected the republican premise of trickle down economics. The mid term elections in 2014 will further erode any republican power if they continue to go down the same old well worn path which took them to last Tuesdays resounding defeat. In any case this fiscal cliff standoff will not effect the way I handle my money.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  80. robert brown

    jack it ridiculous and it wouldn't matter anyway we already in a recession like jarhead said it shouldn't be no thanksgiving or christmas in washington this been going on for to long just vote them out

    November 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  81. Mark.....in Houston

    Same way I've been handling my money since the depression was avoided by a razors edge, you remember that, back when McCain told us "the foundations of the economy are strong" Spend little, don't take on any revolving credit and be happy we've got someone in the White House that is doing his best to prevent it all from happening again...despite what the Republicans want us to believe.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  82. And HURRICANEPAUL in Hawaii writes:

    ** : How will the fiscal cliff affect the way you handle your money? **

    Jack, if you divide our National Debt by the 50 states, each state would be $320 billion in the hole.

    The car you used in your analogy today left the cliff years ago, it's fate already sealed.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  83. Phillipia

    We won't be seriously affected. We're among the "working poor," and have battled to "a better position than 4 years ago." I'd like to see the government tax on INCOME, not wages, with their "income tax". At least we'd be even with the higher-income people then. We have no problem with more money going to our Social Security as it was before.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  84. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I'm hoping to buy Gold, it's not affected by any fiscal cliff.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  85. Larry in Houston

    maybe this will make the country better – let it go over the so called "cliff" – to be perfectly honest, If I was Obama, I would call Boehner's bluff. Why do I say that ? Because he Not only won the popular vote, but he took ALL 8 battleground States.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  86. isaac

    *edited for typos*

    I don't know how a tax hike will effect me. I am sure it won't be good, but it'll probably be bearable, at least from an economic standpoint. I'm already planning to grow more fruits and veggies next year than I did this one, so that will probably decrease my cost of living by more than any tax hike would raise it; not that that makes a tax hike OK, time that could of been spent relaxing or doing work that doesn't pay (volunteer work, fixing up the house, etc, etc) will instead have to be wasted just to pay taxes.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  87. And HURRICANEPAUL in Hawaii writes:

    Jack, if we divide the National Debt by the 50 states, each state would owe $320 billion dollars.

    The car you used in your analogy left the "cliff" years ago, it's fate already sealed.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  88. Dave de la Plante

    This New Year, we Canadians are offering Americans a full fiscal cliff package. You get free rides over Niagara Falls, Canadian citizenship, higher taxes, public health care, and no military spending. No purchase necessary.

    Dave in Ontario Canada

    November 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  89. Raymond Whitener

    If we are to get closer and closer to the fiscal cliff, the question has to be asked, Is Congress accomplishing the tasks that they were hired for, in the first place? If the answer is no, and should the country go over the fiscal cliff, then, we should be able to fire them immediately for failure to accomplish the task for which they were hired, and leadership failure.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  90. Larry in Houston

    Jack – to be perfectly honest – It will hurt the republicans waaaay more than the middle class or poor people, or anybody that is Below the 200K Income. The people above that Income have never been used to being poor, or without, or have to struggle in their lives. So that is why I say it's really going to hurt the Lower Income Americans. I don't think they will let it go over the cliff, but then again, they may go for it.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  91. Peter, Tarrytown, NY

    My financies will be ok as long as inflation doesn't explode.
    I do have one question to all elected Republicans that took the Norquist Pledge.
    Who exactly is your constituency? The citizens that elected you or Norguist.
    Recite the Pledge of Allegiance then carefully read your Oath of Office. Grover Norguist's name does NOT appear anywhere.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  92. Ron Powell

    Jack, it appears that your question is prediicated on the assumption that people have money to handle...The responses to your inquiry suggest that your assumption is invali...The better question would seem to be: "How would you handle not having any money to handle should the government permit the to go over the fiscal cliff".

    November 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  93. David Carroll

    The simply truth of the matter is that taxes are to low all around and spending is out of control.
    The payroll tax holiday for employee contribution to SS(FiCA) needs to be stopped and in all honesty increased to 8% from the current 7.5% for both employee and employer contribution. The cap that this tax is collected needs to be increased or removed completely (current cap is roughly $106k), those two things will save social security without even having to modify payouts to those that receive benefits.
    The capital gains tax code needs a new modification to differentiate between short/long-term capital gains and home sale capital gains. Capital gains tax is based upon your income tax rate, so it is easy for the very wealthy to pay little or nothing on capital gains. A Warren Buffet or other high volume asset trader has little or now income so can make millions on long term capital gains sales and pay nothing in taxes for it.

    November 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  94. Raymond Whitener

    I like the idea that Congress ceases to get paid til they put the fiscal responsibility of the country above their own interests

    November 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm |