As the clock ticks down to the end of 2012, we find ourselves yet again looking to our leaders in Washington for a “last-minute” deal to attempt to resolve some of the economic issues that have challenged our country for the last several years. I find myself thinking we might make substantial progress on balancing our budget if we simply closed Congress for the first 51 weeks of the year and only paid them to go to work the last week in December, as that is the only time anything seems to happen anyway.
This year, a lot of excitement and drama has revolved around the “fiscal cliff.” The fiscal cliff refers to a series of extensive spending cuts and tax increases designed to be so painful to all involved it would force compromise in Congress. At the time it was agreed upon, it was clear that it would make a wonderful political football game and no resolution was remotely possible until every last press conference, tweet, blog, and “Breaking News” banner had been exhausted. This was obvious because, clearly, America needs entertainment more than she needs thoughtful leadership.
The inability of Congress to collectively address the “fiscal cliff” has left American taxpayers with the inability to predict future tax implications of decisions made today, and indeed, may even leave the tax collectors with the inability to collect taxes. If you aren’t aware, the IRS may need to do a massive reprogramming of their tax software as they have programmed the software with the expectation of a “patch” to the 2011 expiration of AMT limits. This predicted “patch” has not been passed by congress and if it is not passed, or if it is changed from what the IRS expected, more than 60 million may face delays in even being able to file their 2012 return.
In any political or economic climate, we will always face some version of a “fiscal cliff.”
Our efforts to guide our clients through constantly changing environments start by focusing on your “fiscal foundation,” so you are best positioned to weather the continued volatility in these increasingly complex economic times. In building this foundation, we help you prepare by continually reviewing your liquidity needs and customizing your investment strategy specifically for you. We help you apply a thoughtful approach to your investment decision making, allowing you to have complete confidence that your financial “house” is in order, leaving us prepared to face whatever curves the market or the economy provides.
While the challenges persist, our goal is to continually help you plan wisely, invest with confidence and live well.
We wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013!