fiscal cliff


  1. a governmental or personal financial crisis that is brought on by economic factors or policies: High housing costs have pushed many families over the fiscal cliff. Some municipalities are on the edge of a fiscal cliff after years of overspending.
  2. (specifically) a financial crisis that threatens to disrupt the economy or personal finances and is brought on by steep governmental spending cuts and tax increases: Congressional legislation to avert the fiscal cliff.


  1. informal a situation in which sudden changes in government expenditure and taxation have a profound effect on a country’s economy

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