Fiscal cliff hysteria is manipulated by self-serving deficit hawks
guardian.co.uk — Washington elites have spent much of the last three decades getting hysterical about budget deficits, but they are outdoing themselves in the current budget stand-off which they labeled as the "fiscal cliff". Their story is that scheduled increases in taxes at the end of 2012, coupled with mandated cuts in spending, will send the economy tumbling into recession if Congress doesn't take action before the end of the year. The horror story associated with this 1 January deadline depends on fundamentally misrepresenting reality. The part that is generally downplayed in this genuine horror story, or left out altogether, is that the projection of a recession is not based on missing the 1 January deadline. The projection assumes that the higher tax rates and lower spending levels are left in place throughout the year – a scenario that almost no one considers plausible.