It's Not Apple, It's The 'Fiscal Cliff,' Stupid

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Surely you can't be this dumb! You are if you believe that in a little over one month, tech giant Apple ( AAPL) has miraculously become a bum and that everything that has been right with the company over the past decade has suddenly come to an end. This was pretty much my response to an associate when discussing the current status of the stock. He, as with so many others have, bought into the noise.

It is remarkable the extent to which every bearish argument has now been proven true all because the stock has dropped. Every pundit is now a genius -- from those who once proclaimed the company can't defy gravity when the stock traded at $250, to those that scream "cannibalization" with every product release.

These self-proclaimed masterminds seem to have forgotten that Apple is not the only stock suffering, but it is the result of this looming threat called the "fiscal cliff." But I don't blame them. After all, why allow facts to get in the way of a good self promotional opportunity?

The presidential election is over. Though this event has answered several questions, still, it has left many unanswered. Anyone who has been in the stock market long enough knows that "uncertainty" is its worst enemy. Consequently, investors have started to apply theory known as "the bird in the hand."

Again, I can't fault anyone for opting to preserve capital, but don't embarrass yourselves and get carried away with the rhetoric. Wanting to be right at every turn has become too convenient.

Pundits want to pick on Apple -- I get it. The same way bulls wanted to be the first to apply triple-digit price targets when things were going well, bears want to now be the first to call the low -- it makes for a great story. But whatever happened to personal responsibility?

It's The "Fiscal Cliff" Stupid!

For those who don't know, on January 1, there are potential spending cuts as well as tax increases that are anticipated to go into effect. This is known as the "fiscal cliff." However, this can be avoided if a compromise is reached by Congress. The magnitude of this agreement is pretty significant as anything other than an agreement have economists projecting upwards of 5% drop in GDP.

Should this happen, there is no way to avoid another recession -- resulting in weak corporate profits and high unemployment. What's more, there is also the threat of meaningful reforms to tax policies including tax cuts from former President Bush that are due to expire.

Likewise, there are payroll taxes as well as concerns over income tax rates that are likely to rise by 5%. Not to mention the threat of current tax breaks for certain businesses that may vanish. What's more, equally impactful and perhaps the major cause of all of this selling is that capital gains taxes are expected to climb from 15% to 20%.

Get Real

I have to ask, with so much more at stake, what exactly does all of this have to do with Apple suddenly forgetting how to innovate? This is much bigger. But on the other hand, being the huge bull on this country as I am, I don't envision a scenario where our government does not step in and do the right thing. After all, this is the same government that bailed out corporate greed while dismissing the laws of capitalism. It realized there was a greater good.

The so-called "fiscal cliff" is bread in politics -- created to force cooperation within our government as it relates to fiscal policies. It was not indended to beat up on Apple at every turn. Investors are fearful and assuming less risk -- again, this is understandable. But at best, the immediate reaction only serves to preserve capital while the ideals of "fear and greed" -- the basis on which equity "value" was founded are being ignored.

Bottom Line

Congress and the president will get this done and figure out a way to avoid another recession. In the meantime, I'd like to give the public a little more credit and say you're not that dumb. But I think I'm alone in that regard as certain articles are being written in ways that presumes incredibly low comprehension levels. Apple is down -- so what. There are very few stocks that have performed as well as Apple year to date where investors are not securing profits. To those writers, I say shame on you. I challenge you to turn the focus on what really matters -- it's the "fiscal cliff" stupid!

At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Richard Saintvilus is a private investor with an information technology and engineering background and has been investing and trading for over 15 years. He employs conservative strategies in assessing equities and appraising value while minimizing downside risk. His decisions are based in part on management, growth prospects, return on equity and price-to-earnings as well as macroeconomic factors. He is an investor who seeks opportunities whether on the long or short side and believes in changing positions as information changes.