"Fiscal cliff" is just a terrible metaphor; how about "austerity crisis"?

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FT Alphaville explains why calling the year-end mix of spending cuts and tax increases a “fiscal cliff” is actually very misleading.

“If policymakers don’t work out a solution by January 1st, the harm is not immediate. Nor is it irreversible, nor is it even all that perilous at first. And even to describe the various components as a single item is problematic: each would have a different effect on the economy.”

The Financial Times has some data: “The Congressional Budget Office puts the full cost of going over the cliff at almost 3 percentage points of output and 3.4m jobs by the end of 2013… Those figures, however, describe the cost of going over the fiscal cliff and staying there for a whole year… Going off the cliff for a couple of weeks might mean a loss of as little as 0.1 per cent of output.”

Meanwhile, Wonkblog has taken to dumping the name altogether and aptly calling it an “austerity crisis.”

Via The Political Wire.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.