VOTE: 15 Better Names for ‘The Fiscal Cliff’
Printer-friendly versionPDF version
a a
 
Type Size: Small
The Fiscal Times
November 14, 2012

The name “fiscal cliff,” coined by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke last February, refers to the $671 billion in spending cuts and tax increases coming in early 2013. The phrase is admittedly better than other wonky Washington language (I’m looking at you, QE3), but really, couldn’t the media come up with a better, catchier name? Other names that have been thrown around include taxmageddon (not bad), the fiscal slope (yawn), and the austerity crisis (confusing), but they haven’t stuck like The Cliff.

The problem is the fiscal cliff isn’t even entirely accurate. While letting these tax increases and spending cuts go though could toss the economy into another recession, chances are slim that Congress and the White House will let that happen. Even if we do “fall off the cliff” on January 2nd, we could technically climb back up if a new fiscal policy is put in place quickly. So instead of a cliff where you fall off and never go back, it’s likely going to be more like a “Fiscal Dip” (which kind of sounds like a fun dance).

Even comedian John Stewart has poked fun at the fiscal cliff lexicon, but all he could muster up was a reference to Thelma and Louise. We have a few suggestions, but we’d love to hear your ideas and have you vote for your favorite. The fiscal cliff occurs within weeks of the Mayan calendar doomsday prediction. And if we’re competing with the Mayans, let’s come up with a name that might actually make it into the Oxford English Dictionary.  Here are a few suggestions:

1. Econopocalypse

2. Money Fall

3. Bernanke’s Bluff

4. Ar-money-geddon

5. Budget Bedlam

6. Crash Landing

7. Night of the Living Debt

8. Solvent Green

9. Budget Cutpocalypse

10. Budget Brouhaha

11. Fiscal Doomsday

12. Hurricane Sandy's Mistress

13. The Fiscal Kerfuffle

14. The Deficit Strikes Back

15. Dawn of the Debt

Blaire Briody is a contributing editor at The Fiscal Times. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Popular Science, Publishers Weekly, among others.