The fiscal cliff featured prominently in the news over Christmas and the New Year. At first, I thought this was some PR story - that Cliff Richard had been rebranded, and 'Mistletoe and Wine' would be reissued with the latest X Factor winner.
When I read beyond the headlines, I realised they referred to whether or not there would be a sharp decline in the US budget deficit in 2013. I don't often feel that my role as director of the Progress Educational Trust (PET) has much in common with that of the leader of the free world, but cross several zeros off Barack Obama's economic problems and I knew just how he felt.
PET is hoping for a decline in its budget deficit for 2013, thanks to your donations to our Christmas Appeal. We still have a long way to go to reach our target of £10,000, and it is not too late to make a donation by texting 'PROG23 £10' (or any other amount) to 70070, or by donating via PayPal on our website - or better still, to support us by becoming a Friend of PET and giving a regular donation.
PET does not have the luxury of large cash reserves which many other charities enjoy, so your donation really does make a difference. We certainly don't spend your donations on the trappings of the Oval Office, but rather on our core aim, which is continuing to inform the debate on genetics, assisted conception and embryo/stem cell research so that research and practice in these areas can thrive – for everyone's benefit.
In the words of Barack Obama, 'money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference'.
Thank you for your donation.