“Fiscal cliff” is the term coined by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to describe the nosedive that awaits the U.S. economy if Congress doesn’t amend a broad package of tax hikes and spending cuts set to come into effect on January 1, 2013. The epithet, like anything America’s central banker says these days, has quickly stirred controversy.
Fiscal conservatives argue “cliff” is a grossly exaggerated misnomer for what the Congressional Budget Office predicts would only be a mild recession in 2013. Others have suggested “fiscal slope” would be a better way to call it, since the impact of the tax increases and spending cuts would only be felt gradually.
Twitter, for its part, is opting for a lighter-touch—and hilarious—commentary: