Frontiers

Audio: On the Precipice

Presidential Term Professor of Economics Enrique Mendoza examines the fiscal cliff and its future significance
January 2013

The American economy is still recovering from the worst recession in decades. Following a presidential race largely defined by employment statistics and revenue policy, there is one thing nearly everyone agrees on: our current deficit is untenable. What, then, is the solution to America’s mounting debt problem? Democrats favor finding new sources of revenue, while Republicans suggest controversial cuts. Is either side willing to compromise? Presidential Term Professor of Economics Enrique Mendoza schools us on fiscal policy and explains what steps must be taken to rescue the American public from a partisan impasse.

1.    What exactly is the fiscal cliff?
2.    How do Democrats and Republicans differ in their proposals to solve the debt crisis?
3.    Congress passed a deficit deal at the eleventh hour. What did the plan entail?
4.    What compromises will each party need to make to address the fiscal cliff for the long term?
5.    What effect will President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act have on the fiscal cliff?
6.    What is the “grand bargain” option, and is it a realistic permanent solution?