Washington, DC: In a display of focus and efficiency that has been characteristic of the US Congress, our elected officials have buckled down for a vigorous debate on what the impending economic disaster should be called. Republicans have insisted that a proper term for fiscal collapse should be assigned before any discussion on how to avert it can begin. Democrats disagree and motions have been brought to the floor to consider the possibility of debating the name of the coming doom of US Capitalism.
There is a large degree of bipartisan support of the term “fiscal cliff”, which is the term that has been taken up by the media and much of the public. Republicans feel it is an adequate representation of a second Obama term and reflects the current state of the GOP. Democrats are drawn to the romanticism of it, alluding to the classic film Thelma and Louise where Thelma stands for the rough-and-tough Republicans and Louise stands for the hand-wringing Democrats. The American public, in this metaphor, is the car.
Some Democrats have even begun putting forth legislation in keeping with this terminology, calling for the government to subsidize parachute purchases. Republicans have called this wasteful, recommending instead that low-income Americans be rounded up and placed around the headquarters of major financial institutions. This way, they could cushion the bankers as the economy fell off a cliff. Republicans pointed to how poor people have a history of being bouncy.
Others have begun to suggest other terms for the oncoming economic train wreck. Economist Jeffrey Cleveland referred to it as a garden due to there being the possibility of bad things happening, an example of the sharp analysis we’ve come to expect from economists. Some have picked up on the garden metaphor, insisting that a few years after our society collapses, grass will begin to grow in abandoned city streets and industrial ruins will becomes homes for all manner of flora and fauna. In response, many economists have taken to the streets carrying signs reading “the end is nigh”, which is another piece of analysis we’ve come to expect from economists.
Republicans have come together to support attempts to re-brand the cliff as something more positive. One idea that gained some traction was calling it a fiscal vacation in Florida. Their reasoning distilled down to the fact that they’d probably all be on one when the economy collapsed. The name was withdrawn after someone pointed out the similarity that the economy and a vacation in Florida were both likely to be ruined by a bunch of old men.
Some called it a fiscal U2 concert, in that it’s uncomfortable and really not enjoyable for anyone. There have been some votes to call it a fiscal American Idol, in that people probably won’t be talking about it in a week. Others call it an economic orgy, because, in the end, we’re all fucked.