In response to:

Now It's Time for the Entitlement Cliff

When folks have the option not to work, the price to get them to work is much higher, meaning wages are on a higher scale than the market will bear. Lower wages mean fewer exported jobs and reduced inflation. When the various options are tightly time limited, people tend to do more to open up their own options. When the consensus is that the govt will bail you out, the impetus to bail yourself out is gone.

As the clock winds down on 2012, the Fiscal Cliff is all anyone seems capable of discussing. Right now it appears that some sort of narrow deal has just emerged that will include raising tax rates on family income over $450,000 a year, increasing the estate tax rate, extending unemployment benefits for one year, and delaying spending cuts.

But the prospect of higher taxes and the great uncertainty that has surrounded this fiscal fiasco has been acting like sand in the gears of the complex but sputtering U.S. economy. If additional taxes are not matched by real cuts in government...