Q: Why would our politicians risk putting us in such a mess?
A: Because sometimes it takes the threat of something really bad happening to force grown-ups to do the right thing.
Q: So are we going to fall off the fiscal cliff?
A: Republicans say they don't want to go off the cliff. Democrats say they don't want to go off the cliff. President Barack Obama says he doesn't want to go off the cliff. The question is whether they will agree to things they normally would hate, such as tax increases and cuts in spending for health care and services for older people in order to get there.
Can they find a compromise they all can be okay with? The answer to that is: Nobody knows for sure.
A: Yeah. Yikes.