My own fiscal cliff

November 9th, 2012

I will never forget the moment the networks called the election for Barack Obama.

That’s when my chest pains started.  Actually, it was more of a fluttering of my heart combined with sharp pains and shortness of breath.  These symptoms lasted through a sleepless night.  I probably would have been completely exhausted the next day but an ongoing anxiety attack acted as a sort of adrenaline that kept me going.

Why all this emotional unrest over the election of a President I’ve managed to survive the past four years?

I blame our accountant.

Last week, our accountant, who is a perfectly nice woman, met with my husband and me to discuss financial planning for next year.  As we were wrapping up our conversation, she happened to mention that she’d had her assistant take everyone’s income for 2011 and calculate their projected taxes for 2013 if the Bush tax cuts expire and Obamacare taxes go into effect.  Letters were going in the mail with the results later in the week.

“I can’t remember what your results are,” she said offhandedly, “but when I saw some of those numbers I nearly fell off my chair.”

Last Friday, the letter arrived as promised.

I not only fell off my chair, I hit the floor gasping for breath.

I won’t tell you what I scream at the television every time Barack Obama or Harry Reid say that higher income earners should have to pay “just a little more” because I generally don’t talk that way.  I’d also like to meet some of these people Obama and Reid claim are actually eager to pay more taxes.  So far, I personally haven’t met one yet.

Now with the election over, the fiscal cliff looming, and a clear target painted on my back, I take on the task of finding money to pay “my fair share.” I’ve already informed a few people that I can no longer use their services.  A car dealer called today to see if she could get me in a new car.  I politely told her “no” and asked her if she wouldn’t mind praying with me that my current car holds up four more years. My son suggested that we find things to sell on Ebay.  He offered cards from his brother’s Pokemon collection.  I’m not entirely ruling that out, but I think it’s only fair to ask my other son first.

So while Congress and the President do the usual dance that goes along with fixing the fiscal cliff, I’ll be working on solving my own.