I call it the “dual-trigger nightmare.” Hill staff call it “taxmageddon.” Ben Bernanke calls it “the fiscal cliff.” Whatever you call it, at the end of 2012, we’re scheduled to see $7.5 trillion worth of tax hikes and spending cuts happen automatically. That would, on the one hand, solve our deficit problem. It would also trash our recovery. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has a nice paper previewing the choices Congress is about to face, and it includes this table, which breaks “taxmageddon” — or whatever you want to call it -- into its component parts.
For a larger version of the table, click here. Note that we’re also scheduled to hit the debt ceiling at about the same time all these provisions expire.