CBO Joins the Infographic Craze, Predicts Economic Doom in 2013

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Big news today! The Congressional Budget Office has gotten into the infographic business. I’m pretty sure they’ve done this just as infographics are going out of fashion, but still. It’s a nice effort to maintain the attention of the internet generation.

Today’s infographic is about the infamous “fiscal cliff.” Basically, a whole bunch of stuff is set to expire on December 31st. The Bush tax cuts will go away, raising taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars. Big spending cuts agreed to as part of the debt ceiling standoff will take effect. The payroll tax holiday enacted during the 2010 lame duck session will expire. Unemployment benefits will get slashed. Medicare payment reductions will go into effect. And those are just the big ticket items.

So what effect would this have on the economy? Here’s a snippet from the infographic:

That’s pretty bad. If we extend everything, CBO figures economic growth will clock in at about 1.7% next year — not great, but not catastrophic either. But if everything expires, the country will fall back into recession, with the economy shrinking by 0.5%.

It’s vanishingly unlikely that Congress will even attempt to address this before the election. That means we’re due for yet another exciting lame duck session in December. I’ll bet you can hardly wait.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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