Chances are until the last few weeks you had never used the phrase "Fiscal Cliff".
Now big Investors and working folks with IRAs are faced with a major life-style change, if congress doesn't act before December 31st.
JOHN SHIELDS WILSON, BRANCH MGR., MORGAN KEEGAN & CO. "People, because of what's going on politically, what's going on economically...safety is prime importance to most people."
America's investors are scrambling to find safer ground as the "fiscal cliff" approaches.
If the so-called Bush tax cuts and spending cuts do expire, some are predicting a 9% unemployment rate, and another major recession in 2013.
That's enough to make all of us with a 401K wonder what's next?
Chattanooga Investment expert John Shields Wilson is a frequent contributor to national business programs.
We asked about "taxing the rich".
JOHN SHIELDS WILSON "Take everything they've got and run a government for about 3-days. "
If your household budget is taking a beating now, you don't want to hear more bad news in 2013.
President Obama is calling on congress to take immediate action.
PRESIDENT OBAMA "...provide certainty to middle class families, 98 percent of families who make less than 250,000 dollars a year, 97 percent of small businesses, that their taxes will not go up a single dime next year."
JOHN SHIELDS WILSON "In reality I really don't believe Congress is going to allow us to go over that proverbial fiscal. I think they are going to sit down and deal with it."
Chattanooga's local economy is looking up, what with the Volkswagen plant and thousands of new jobs, but the Fiscal Cliff could also affect that if there is a stalemate in Washington.
And, in the long run?
JOHN SHIELDS WILSON "I really feel like any substantive progress on that front, will probably result in a little bit of a shift in psychology ..And a pretty good rally in the stock market."
The tax hikes - if they are allowed to take effect - would raise the average household tax bill by about $68 a week.
Wilson says his primary concern is the end of the 20 year rally on the bond market.
He says, that would be very bad news for the economy.