So, are we done with 'cliff' talk?


It was quite a year last year--for talking about cliffs. About mid-year, the cliff was brought up when an ad produced by Agenda Project Action Fund (a progressive policy organization) depicted a Sen. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) look-alike pushing a granny over a cliff--in response to Ryan's announced plan to "save" Medicare. Later, a cartoon--likely created by Republicans--showed another Ryan look-alike in a Superman costume, saving granny--by strongly holding her back from falling off the side of a cliff.

Then, during the last quarter or so, talk turned to the impending "fiscal cliff," a Jan. 1, 2013 "taxmagedclon" slew of tax increases on all Americans (who pay taxes) from a variety of sources (including many expiring provisions), along with massive spending cuts to the military and some discretionary spending, a result of legislators' inability to agree to a budget deal earlier in the year.

By the time this column gets read, we're either over the cliff or precipitously still on the edge. Even if some deal was made by year end--based on the actions of policymakers in the recent past--I'd assume our legislators did not cement a lasting deal but settled on something temporary and a pledge to hammer out a "real deal" or maybe even a guarantee to deliver at some "future" time, the "grand bargain" that was supposed to happen in the summer of 2011.

So, is it over? Are we done with cliff talk? Are we back to normal or what many have predicted is now a "new normal?" As business is seemingly more linked to Washington policy these days, senior-level financial executives naturally have to keep up with events and happenings.

But regardless of what happens in Washington, there are businesses to run and for this financial executives have to plan. We want to help. Thus, we offer our...

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