It seems like only yesterday that the fiscal cliff was a distant worry, a muffled rumble of thunder over the horizon. Yet as other stories have occupied the headlines, the cliff has drawn ever nearer. It has now been almost a year and a half since President Obama and Congress forged a pact to set the country on an autopilot course into economic Armageddon unless they were able to reach an agreement on the federal budget. Of course, that agreement never arrived, last-minute negotiations appear to be stalled and we are now staring down the barrel of a 12-gauge economic crisis.
With Jan. 1, 2013, less than three weeks away, we're looking back at the path we took to reach the crisis point with this quick refresher course.
For More on the Fiscal Cliff
- Fiscal Cliff Calculators: How Much More Will You Owe If We Fall Off?
- Year-End Review: Simple Ways to Cut Your Budget Before the Fiscal Cliff
- Fiscal Cliff Pop Quiz: Fun Facts from the Forthcoming Economic Apocalypse
- Walmart CEO Says Fiscal Cliff Already Affecting U.S. Shoppers
Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.