The lingering impact of the nation’s recent financial challenges affects citizens at a state and individual level. To explore how these spending decisions are made and what they mean, Oakland University’s Department of Political Science will present, “The Fiscal Cliff: Taxing, Spending, Debt and Deficits.”
Hosted by two former state legislators, the event will take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, in the Oakland Center Fireside Lounge. The event is free and open to the public.
“The fiscal cliff impacts everyone in America,” said David Dulio, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Political Science Department. “We will discuss a number of angles of the problem, including taxes, government spending, the national debt, and the federal deficit. These issues affect every individual in the country.”
The term "fiscal cliff" has been used over the course of American political history to provide a metaphor for fiscal problems, Dr. Dulio explained.
Used recently, the term applies to the automatic spending cuts and tax increases that were set to go into effect this January when the Bush tax cuts expired. These changes were averted at the beginning of the year, when congress struck a deal to push the timeline of the cuts back to March.
While many federal spending decisions may seem remote, they have the ability to affect people on an individual basis.
“For instance, the tax increases that went into effect not only took away the Bush tax cuts from those making more than $400,000, but they also included a cancellation of the payroll tax holiday that had been in effect,” Dr. Dulio continued. “If you get a paycheck, your taxes are probably higher because of that. It's also very important on the spending side. Many programs will be impacted.”
Former State Representatives Mickey Switalski (D) and Chuck Moss (R) will offer their take on the deal and discuss many of the issues involved in making tax and spending decisions at the state and national level.
The pair will continue to offer their expertise to the Oakland community this fall, when they jointly teach a new course, “The Fiscal Cliff: Taxing, Spending, Debt and Deficits.” The course will be of special interest to economics and political science students, who can register for the course as either ECN: 380 or PS: 306.
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