As promised sharing more information on the Fiscal Cliff. This is from colleague on the National Defense Workforce Advisory Committee, Laurie Moncrieff. Let's all stand up and be heard. Tell Congress that they need to FIX-IT NOW! THE VIEW OF THE CLIFF FROM AN ACROPHOBIC I am a parent, spouse, small business owner, manufacturer, neighbor, and friend. I am the segment of the economy that is painfully aware that in the past 10 years we have experienced an economic downturn second only to the “Great Depression.” Even in a good economy, small businesses such as mine must navigate barriers and challenges, but through this downturn we have seen significant decreases in customer orders; struggled with layoffs and the associated effects on our workforce; lost access to capital (due to the redlining of our geographic region), and watched as desperate competitors and customers sink to unscrupulous levels to survive. Being an honest hard-working business owner has not been fun in the last decade. Through adaption and reinvention, sacrifice, and working to the point of questioning my own sanity, I survived, but many others have not. The result is that there has been tremendous erosion in industries that are: critical to national security, key to the health and revitalization of our national economy, and recognized as integral part of our National Innovation System. Unfortunately, now we must face the potential of the fiscal cliff, a combination of expiring tax cuts and across-the-board government spending cuts scheduled to become effective Dec. 31, 2012. The concept of the fiscal cliff was to motivate our Federal government to address the problem, as not taking action will negatively impact our slowly healing economy, perhaps sending it back into an official recession. However, due to the elections, and the associated games played during “the season” (which at times seems never ending), Congress has delayed taking action. This has led to volumes of speculation, analysis, and fear mongering, as the "cliff" suggests falling into immediate, destructive and imminent death. What we must understand is that small businesses will once again make up the vast majority of the victims. Small businesses are: 99.7 percent of all employer firms, employ half of all private sector employees, generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years, and produce 13 times more patents per employee than large firms. We are far too important to merely sit back and accept this fate. The election is over and it is time for the grass roots to stop allowing our political affiliations to tell us what to think or believe, but rather to work together as Americans to heal our economy? We have got to stop allowing the economy and jobs to be used as political pawns. I recently testified to the House Small Business committee to implore their consideration of the unintended consequences to small business due to inactivity on this issue. I am often questioned why I bother to traveling to Washington, that my small voice does not make a difference, but I am here to tell you that is simply not true. All of our voices make a difference, but there is no doubt that it is heard best when spoken loud and in chorus. Our livelihood and the health and the well-being of our Country are too critical to sit back and allow someone else do the heavy lifting. Please join me by coming together and calling or emailing your Congressman and demand compromise and a solution because I for one do not enjoy the view from the top of the cliff!