In the Washington Post article Saturday about the imminent "fiscal cliff" facing the United States economy, the writer presents a multitude of figures and percentages to clearly identify the looming issues facing the economy. He begins the article explaining the term "fiscal cliff" and lists several of the policy changes that are supposed to cause this.
Each of the beginning paragraphs act as components of a laundry list of new American policy. It illustrates a cause-and-effect situation for each of the policies, from the expiration of a payroll tax cut that benefits 160 million workers to the decline in the payroll tax that funds Social Security from 6.2 to 4.2 percent.
The first source cited by the writer occurs in the ninth graph: a prediction that the changes in current economic policy could "do at least as much to slow the economy as any other government action in the past half-century" from Moody's Analytics.
The writer finishes the article with a couple of quotes, first from a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and former top official at the federal reserve. The writer attributes the economist in between the quote. The writer also references a statement made by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geitner about the decision not to renew the payroll tax, demonstrating the White House and Congress's indifference on the subject.