CBO Joins the Infographic Craze, Predicts Economic Doom in 2013

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Big news today! The Congressional Budget Office has gotten into the infographic business. I’m pretty sure they’ve done this just as infographics are going out of fashion, but still. It’s a nice effort to maintain the attention of the internet generation.

Today’s infographic is about the infamous “fiscal cliff.” Basically, a whole bunch of stuff is set to expire on December 31st. The Bush tax cuts will go away, raising taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars. Big spending cuts agreed to as part of the debt ceiling standoff will take effect. The payroll tax holiday enacted during the 2010 lame duck session will expire. Unemployment benefits will get slashed. Medicare payment reductions will go into effect. And those are just the big ticket items.

So what effect would this have on the economy? Here’s a snippet from the infographic:

That’s pretty bad. If we extend everything, CBO figures economic growth will clock in at about 1.7% next year — not great, but not catastrophic either. But if everything expires, the country will fall back into recession, with the economy shrinking by 0.5%.

It’s vanishingly unlikely that Congress will even attempt to address this before the election. That means we’re due for yet another exciting lame duck session in December. I’ll bet you can hardly wait.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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