The "fiscal cliff" was devised in the summer of 2011, designed to look as scary as possible, when the Obama administration wanted authorization to borrow more money to pay for ever-expanding expenditures. House Republicans balked, and a compromise was reached. The debt ceiling was raised, from $14.3 trillion to nearly $16.4 trillion. In exchange, President Obama and Democrats agreed that if he didn’t follow the deficit-reducing recommendations issued by his own bipartisan commission – and of course, he didn’t – automatic spending cuts and tax hikes would go into effect Jan. 3, 2013.
This was what Democrats would face if they waited a year and a half without doing anything to slow the borrowing that’s steadily eroding the value of Americans’ savings.
Now note what President Obama recently added to his demands in negotiations to avoid the "fiscal cliff": Because Washington’s spending has continued unabated, even the raised debt ceiling will be reached within a few months. So Mr. Obama wants, as part of any deal to cancel his administration’s "due and payable" reckoning for failing to keep the promises they made to get the debt ceiling raised 16 months ago, that Republicans agree to again raise the debt ceiling!