‘Kicking the Can’ Down the Road Hits a Youth Roadblock

‘Kicking the Can’ Down the Road Hits a Youth Roadblock

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THE CAN KICKS BACK   Lawmakers returning to Capitol Hill on Tuesday will be greeted by a giant can mascot named “AmeriCAN” representing The Can Kicks Back campaign, a grassroots organization of young people who are pressuring Congress to reach a long-term deficit solution rather than push through one more quick, temporary fix. “Our generation is the ‘can’ that politicians keep kicking down the road,” said Nick Troiano, the group’s 23-year-old co-founder. The campaign highlights the job market, student loans, affordable health care, and Social Security – and how each issue is impacted by the $16 trillion deficit.

“We [explain] to young Americans how our growing national debt affects them and [give] them meaningful ways to take action,” said Ryan Schoenike, 30, executive director. The organization is part of the $40 million dollar Fix the Debt Campaign, funded by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and backed by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, former co-chairs of President Obama’s deficit reduction commission. Despite gridlock in Washington, Republicans and Democrats have hinted at the possibility that Congress and the White House will be able to compromise on deficit reduction before the end of the year, just in time to avoid the massive spending cuts and tax hikes that could send the country into a new recession.

GOLDMAN SACHS: CLIFF IMPACT ALREADY HERE   In its weekly strategy research report, Goldman Sachs said clients are already feeling the impact of the fiscal cliff. “Customers are postponing orders, tightly managing supply chains, introducing more spending scrutiny, extending deal cycles, instituting additional approval requirements, and are generally less willing to spend given uncertainty on the fiscal cliff and tax policy.”

The report predicts that Congress will likely allow the payroll tax cut to expire and tax rates on top earners to rise. The Goldman report expects the Bush-era tax cuts to be extended only to families earning less than $250,000 and individuals earning less than $200,000. - Read more at Business Insider

‘HUMAN’ CLIFF?   More than 2 million people will lose jobless benefits next year if Congress chooses not to extend the deadline to file for extended benefits, CNN reports. Among the handful of provisions expiring at the end of the year are federal job benefits, which go to unemployed Americans for up to 47 weeks after they’ve exhausted six months of state payments. “We cannot forget the human cliff looming for more than two million Americans scheduled to lose their economic lifeline during the upcoming holidays,” said Rep. Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means committee. “Congress must act quickly to ensure we do not abandon those workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.”

If lawmakers decide not to extend the filing date, more than 1 million unemployed people who have already exhausted state benefits will not be eligible to sign up for benefits from the federal government for the first quarter of 2013. Congress first enacted the federal benefits package in June 2008, and President Obama extended it to 99 weeks in the fall of 2009. - Read more at CNN

STOCKS SLIP   The uncertainty of whether Congress will send the economy over the cliff continues to fuel uncertainty in the stock market, as demonstrated by its seesaw-like performance on Monday. U.S. stocks were down in the morning but edged up later in the afternoon. After opening with small gains, all three indices fell, then rose later in afternoon trading. By 4 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite were up about 0.2 percent. - Read more at CNBC

For more news on the approaching fiscal cliff, follow us on Twitter @Fiscalcliffnote

Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.