Fiscal Cliff Notes


My dear friend and mentor, Cliff Schecter, has a new post up at HuffPo; hence, because Cliff has given me permission to share his work with you, I’ll give you the latest edition of what I call Cliff Notes.

He skewers better than a chef at Smokey Joe’s BBQ. He has comedic insights that rival those of our mutual friend, the hilarious Lizz Winstead. He’s sharper than the point on Sarah Palin’s pin head.

Here are a few excerpts from his latest, with permission. Please read the whole thing, because he has way more than I’ve included here:

[W]e're now forced to confront a band of enormously wealthy people who've benefited from - or bestowed upon others - large financial bailouts and ill-considered tax cuts who like lecturing Americans living on earned benefits about "shared sacrifice". As in, you give up a meal each day, and I'll give up a pair of yacht shoes! Deal? 

It is this truth that often goes unreported during discussions of our so-called "fiscal cliff" (besmirching my good name, I might add), a supposed doomsday scenario where the economy will turn into some sort of a combination of the prom scene from Carrie and Fox News' "1/2 Hour News Hour", if we don't all sing kumbaya by year's end.  [...]

As cognitive linguist Anat Shenker outlines in her enormously insightful book, Don't Buy It: The Trouble With Talking Nonsense About The Economy, the economy isn't a living, breathing thing. It can't be hurt. In fact, as Shenker says, the problem is that the debate is still often about "who loves the economy more, when it should be about people". 

Because, you see, people are actually hurt by layoffs, lack of health insurance and the austerity-police, or those plutocrats who'd consider it unclean to fly coach. [...]

Thankfully, there is reason for optimism, as a number of groups with whom I've worked closely, such as Social Security Works and USAction, have led a grassroots effort to point out who's leading the charge to starve grandma - while wearing their finest Italian suits. [...]

[R]oughly nine in 10 respondents don't want their Social Security or Medicare cut in any way. [...]

It seems the President is paying close attention to all this, with his much tougher bargaining stance so far, which is heartening.

Cliff Schecter is an author, pundit and public relations strategist whose firm Libertas, LLC handles media relations for political, corporate and non-profit clients. 

Follow him on Twitter: @CliffSchecter