President Obama's Hawaiian vacation has been rudely interrupted, Speaker John Boehner announced that he would call the House back into session this weekend, and chief senate turtle Mitch McConnell has emerged from his shell to half-heartedly engage in negotiations on forestalling the austerity measures set to hit on January 1st. For regular Americans, this should only mean one thing: it's time to turn governmental incompetence into a celebration and plan your Fiscal Cliff Eve party.
The Decorations: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner announced that as of December 31st the Treasury Department will have to exercise some very creative accounting in order to borrow money, unless Congress raises the statutory debt limit as part of a fiscal cliff deal. To celebrate, ask your guests to bring their credit card statements to the festivities. Tape these to your ceiling, along with utility and student loan bills. Refer to this as the Debt Ceiling.
The Food: In addition to the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling crisis, we're also facing a dairy cliff. Unless Congress passes a farm bill by December 31st, the country's milk prices could rise to as much as $6 to$8 per gallon. That's thanks to a 1949 dairy price subsidy that requires the Agriculture Department to buy milk at inflated prices unless a more modest subsidy bill is enacted. To celebrate, consider this recipe — with apologies to your lactose-disagreeable guests — while you can still afford it:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9 x1 3 inch baking pan.
Sift 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder together and set aside.
Cream butter (1/2 cup unsalted) or margarine and 1 cup of white sugar together until fluffy. Bask in the whiteness of all the ingredients. Consider it an homage to the Republican Party. Add 5 eggs and a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat as well as Obama beat Mitt Romney.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork.
Combine 2 cups whole milk, 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, and 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.
You now have a Dairy Cliff Milk Cake. Refrigerate and enjoy.
The Music: Mozart, Liszt, Schumann, Bach and Beethoven. If there's ever a time to pay homage to C-SPAN's quorum call hold music, it's at a Fiscal Cliff Eve party.
And if a deal is reached, you'll have eaten some good cake, enjoyed good music and gotten a tax cut extension at the end of it.
Photo by Vernon Wiley/E+ Collection/Getty Images
Tags: Debt, Fiscal Cliff, Taxes