Opinion: Fiscal Cliff has economy on edge

Ava Gallagher

The United States economy is on the precipice of disaster.

This country is quickly approaching yet another economic collapse. If the two parties do not coalesce and figure out a bipartisan way to solve the deficit problem by the end of this year, tax increases and spending cuts will kick in and we will reach a fiscal cliff, forcing another descent into economic ruin. If allowed to reach the cliff, spending cuts will be seen in areas beloved to both Democrats and Republicans. Our military and defense budgets will be significantly decreased, as well as social programs like Medicare, Social Security, and more. Not only will our benefits be cut off, but the country will quickly plummet into an economic collapse. Four years after the worst collapse since the Great Depression, that is the antithesis of what this country needs.

With this precipice looming large on the horizon, politicians are scrambling more than ever to come up with a solution. Despite looming above all of our heads like an ominous rain cloud, this fiscal cliff could actually prove to be or some benefit to our country. If it works, it could be one of the best ideas Barack Obama had in his first term. Let me explain:

Nobody in this nation wants to see us plunge back into a recession. No matter what political party one belongs to, it can be agreed across the board that a poor economy is never good for a country. So with an economic crisis quickly coming up and only the government to blame, hopefully the two sides can coax a solution out of each other. Before the election, President Obama sat down with leading members of both parties and said, “What programs do you cherish most? Let’s take those and cut their funding significantly if we don’t reach an agreement on how best to fix the economy.” He did so in the hopes that a serious conversation about the economy would be sparked. And it worked. Debates on how to help facilitate our economic recovery and get this nation out of debt have never been more abundant nor more productive. Both sides have begun working together to help solve a problem in which they staunchly stood their ground for four years. And hopefully soon we will see a viable, non-partisan solution to the fiscal problems facing our nation.

If this works out in the end, it will be a tremendous start to a new four years in office for Mr. Obama. It would set a precedent for bipartisanship as well as show the nation that “Forward” can truly happen. Every citizen is poised and ready to see Obama flourish, whether or not they supported him throughout his candidacy. No one in this nation wants to see another four years of political gridlock in Washington, and the economic debates spurred by the fiscal cliff presents itself as the perfect opportunity to show the nation just how bipartisan Washington is willing to be.