Kevin Drum has an excellent overview of the fiscal cliff. Go read it. You really should. But, if you are short of time, here is a two minute version.
If Congress does not act by Jan 1, 2013, three major things will happen:
· (a) Automatic spending cuts (defense and domestic discretionary spending) will kick in
· (b) Bush era tax-cuts for the middle class and wealthy will expire, and
· (c) Payroll holiday, and extension of unemployment benefits will also expire.