The fact that all of our politicians are referring to a massive decrease in the deficit as a “fiscal cliff” proves two things:
1) No one actually cares about the deficit. That’s a good thing in that it’s really foolish to worry about debt and deficits if you’re likely to throw your economy back into recession by pre-maturely slashing spending in the midst of a recovery. But it’s bad because the GOP’s purported concern with debt and the deficit is really just a cover for their desire to slash rich-people taxes and dismantle popular social programs.
2) Keynes was right. More spending–(whether from the government or wherever)–is good for a weak economy. This basic fact is inconvenient for those who are opposed to any and all government spending, but ideology can’t change basic macro-economic realities. To put it more plainly, firing a bunch of people (i.e. cutting govt. spending) isn’t a good way for more people to have jobs. It’s really that simple.