President Obama presented a plan last week that would impose heavy tax increases on the top 2 percent of the nation's wage earners. That noise you heard was a small portion of the 99 percent crying out, "Say what?"

Republicans, meanwhile, are holding firm on no new taxes at all. If the fiscal cliff was a real cliff, both sides would be pushing each other toward it, oblivious that they are tied together by a rope.

Salt Lake City is in a bind because traffic tickets and parking citations are running $2.2 million short of expectations. No word yet on whether the mayor will propose a public service campaign to promote reckless driving.

The outgoing mayor of Salt Lake County, meanwhile, has proposed a 17 percent increase in property taxes. It's the kind of thing mayors often do when leaving office, figuring they no longer can be hurt politically. That's why we should never impose terms limits on these jobs.

Without this tax hike, Mayor Peter Corroon said important services would be cut and county employees would not have their compensation packages restored to pre-recession levels. This is what is known as a looming fiscal pothole.

Sometimes the job of being a citizen can be downright taxing.

New last week, just in time for those "As the World Turns" fans who were still mourning the loss of the television soap opera — the David Petraeus scandal.

The Petraeus scandal had everything — betrayal, jealousy, passion, a hero's fall from grace and a shirtless FBI agent. It was almost enough to make us all forget the Middle East was coming apart at the seams.

After the election, several people posted petitions on the White House web site asking for their state to secede from the union. Utah's petition said the people want to "here buy govern ourselves..." Sounds like consumerism run amok.

Apparently, these people would like to start their own country. We can assume English would not be the official language.

Those who signed this petition must not have heard how things went the last time states decided to secede.

Speaking of secession, Steven Spielberg's newest movie is about Abraham Lincoln. It takes viewers to a strange time when a controversial president had just won re-election and was presiding over a divided country, trying to get a lame-duck Congress to pass important legislation.

The Civil War, now THAT was a fiscal cliff.

Jay Evensen is the associate editor of the Deseret News editorial page. Follow him on Twitter @jayevensen.