The fiscal cliff and you

Here's a quick way to understand the battle over the fiscal cliff.

By Charley Blaine Dec 7, 2012 12:54PM

The fiscal cliff sounds like a nightmare. But it comes with real numbers that have real impacts on the lives of most Americans. Here's an in-depth look at them:Fiscal cliff/MSN graphicThe fiscal cliff started to affect business decisions this fall. That's why you saw small declines in manufacturing in Friday's jobs report, for example.

It appears to be a worry for consumers now. The University of Michigan's latest consumer sentiment survey shows confidence dropping to a four-month low. That suggests households are concerned about a potentially sharp fall in their after-tax incomes.

The CBO data suggests they might want to be concerned.

The CBO estimates suggest the 20% of households with the lowest incomes might see their taxes rise by $412.

If you're in the middle 20% of income levels -- between $39,791 and $64,484 -- the average increase would be $1,984. If you're in the top 20% -- $108,267 or above -- the CBO is estimating an average increase of $14,173.

If you're in the top 1% -- with income above $506,210 -- the average increase might be about $120,500.


The threat of the cliff is the result of Congress' inability in 2011 to come up with a package that would satisfy everyone. It came after threats of a government shutdown, a downgrade of U.S. debt by Standard & Poor's and a short, intense panic in financial markets that sent the major stock market averages down.

The provisions of the cliff were part of a deal made by Congress in an August 2011 budget bill. It set up a so-called Super Committee of members of Congress and the Senate who were supposed to hammer out $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years. If they couldn't come up with a plan, then a mandatory combination of spending cuts and tax increases would kick

The Super Committee couldn't agree on a plan, with Democrats and Republicans essentially deciding to wait until after the 2012 election to make decisions.

The CBO sees the cliff cutting the federal deficit but also causing a recession, just as the economy is gaining some strength, that might not end until the end of 2013.

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Dec 9, 2012 2:48AM
With this commenting being over 1800, what is really left to say...??
Dec 9, 2012 2:40AM



But please declare bankruptcy.......Maybe you can get some un-employ after that...


THEN RETIRE and go on SS and Medicare......You deserve it.....Go get it.

And to be further honest with as a Salesman in the that industry...

You should have saved more for retirement....No pension either ??

I know it was a tough life and now a tougher industry...

Part of the Family were from the Coal Mts.

Dec 9, 2012 2:36AM
you, are all, correct, check out the, CLIFF,  see how the gov. can just, demand more tax, and it becomes a law, over and over!!!!!!!!!! go to msn, check out te tax bracket, you re in.  very, scary also, look, the worst case scenarios,  that was the third choice,,  they knew it in 2011, and chose to keep the decition, untill after the election,  i wonder, why   the gov. are experts, at money laundering, over the mountians, threw the woods,over the borders, into the banks, the money, goes, in to another, false name,  this is a path, that the gov. knows well,, and after, the money reaches, the end of the road,  it lands in the same, place, it has for thousands of yrs. right back in the, pockets, banks, ivestments, false tax right offs, the hunger for money, goes on and on,  it trully, the root of evil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  we need to come togather, in one way or another,   theres power in numbers!  god bless  ray88562
Dec 9, 2012 2:02AM

Life is great!


Chris Van Hollen & Elizabeth Warren in 2016 & 2020!


God bless America!

Dec 9, 2012 1:59AM
Yay!  You asked for it, Obama!  Results of elections count.  This country deserves what  it  is getting.  
Dec 9, 2012 1:51AM
i like how half of you target the you should be targeting large families and familys getting all the freebies.. there the problem..not just people getting benefits of unemployment....thats nothing
Dec 9, 2012 1:42AM
but i bet you all would have been ok with MITT spending another 11 trillion from china.. ok so 27 trillion isnt bad? lol.. really now
Dec 9, 2012 12:56AM

      I am a 67 year old unemployed sales rep in the coal mining industry. ( That's another subject better covered in another conversation. I won't argue the pros and cons of coal mining here.)  My position with a large supply company was eliminated in August because of re-alignment of customer account responsibilities as the current slump in the coal markets in appalachia progressed.  I have worked and paid taxes for 47 years but had only a meager retirement set aside. Unfortunately, this was depleted due to family medical emergencies. I needed to work at least another 3 years in order to reduce our debts and  increase current retirement benefits. However, with my industry under such attack and being too old to change occupations, the prospects of going back to work are slim to none.  

       I see that the federal extended  unemployment benefits are on the line now.  These are all that I have to make it possible to maintain solvency. It is so sad to see our country in such a shape that the people that have made this country great and kept their responsibilities to society are faced with such a predicament. This burden is solely the blame of our politicians.  I was always there to pay my taxes (their incomes) but where are they now that I need THEM !!!

        Shame on the Obama administration for its war on coal mining and all the other politicians for their turning their backs on the working citizens!!!!

         I'm sure that there are many good men and women who are depending on these extended unemployment benefits to survive.  There is so many more wastes that could be cut that would not affect those that have worked all of their lives.


Dec 9, 2012 12:10AM
Dec 9, 2012 12:02AM

Big T Stoffel, could you define socialism?


The political science definition, or its economic system definition. I 'd bet you know neither.

Dec 8, 2012 11:06PM
Hi, me and my wife are in the middle,                             4 years ago the President lower my taxes by $2,000 a year and now they will go up $2,000, so I am breaking even ,                      we are normal working people we are use to not getting our way,                         I think it is really  funny when the rich guys dont get there way, boy do they complain !
Dec 8, 2012 10:44PM

  I am amazed by some of the comments. I hope some will realize that this administration is about 2 classes, the rich and the poor.

   For years I have told my friends to VOTE out the regular occupants of office, as WE THE PEOPLE are to be the Government, and WE make the decisions of the nation. NOT a bunch of people who send people to prison for doing the same thing they do, ask Martha Stewart.

   We are becoming what is called a THIRD WORLD NATION on purpose. I HOPE I AM WRONG, but there is nothing I have seen to disprove that. This president is going to eliminate the middle class, on purpose.

   Best wishes this year, and if anyone voted for Oh-BOMB-A , sorry about all our luck, we as a nation have received what we deserve,too bad, its a LONG 4 MORE YEARS, we will not survive.

Dec 8, 2012 10:34PM
who did you think was gonna pay the bulk of taxes in this up country? i blame you people for voting this muslim non american.
Dec 8, 2012 10:21PM

evryone stop whining...what u need to do is force your represenative to change the tax laws and force flat tax and close all loopholes and company incentives !!!! any company moving out of the country is taxed heavily....dont let congress make u lose focus on the real problem

Dec 8, 2012 8:50PM

I think its great,  You dumb idiots who believe the Democrats have it right about the taxes going up for the rich are full of the stuff that get flushed everyday.

The rich are going to do what the Govt. lets them do and that is pass the higher taxes right on down to you..even you dead beats on food stamps and welfare and crazy check getters are paying more at Wal-mart now.   everybody will pay more federal tax on gas.  Just how stupid can amreicans get.

Dec 8, 2012 8:29PM
Where's the 222 trillion for unfunded liabilities? And 16  trillion dollar deficit? Few understand the cliff...
Dec 8, 2012 8:24PM

Though repeated many times before: We need to collect all the taxes owed to the government and not raise taxes on the citizen who pays all of their taxes owed.  It's time to close the loop holes and end free tax rides that many of the super rich and corporation are using today.

Maybe we should cut the pay of the elected officials or end their life time paychecks that they receive. I'm talking about the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives.  Many of them hold high paying jobs and receive incomes from book deals and speaking fees. Maybe it is time to stop giving them paychecks when they no longer work for the American people.

If your going to end Social Security or raise it to an age that their is no way I can reach it(I've heard rumors of moving the retirement age into the 90's) then I should not have it removed from my paycheck.

Dec 8, 2012 8:17PM
The younger people in college or still in their mommies apron have voted an idiot into office for a second term. I hope the parents have fun with our new health care, and the taxes it is going to create. A senator make in the neighborhood of $ 175,000 a year . Let all the politicians  take a cut in salary.  Would be good  for everyone.
Dec 8, 2012 7:59PM

In 2011 the Federal Government received 6.7 trillion in revenue in taxes. The Federal Government still needed to borrow 1 trillion. How would any American in their right mind not want to know how the Federal Government can spend almost 8 trillion $ 8,000,000,000,000 a year and still want more? Are we becoming so indifferent to the numbers that  they become incidental? At this rate we will all be taxed at 100% in the near future. I say no to any tax increase. They have enough revenue to manage this country. As far as raising the debt limit. Hell no!!!!!!! All Americans should refuse to go to work for a few weeks (that would scare the crap out of them) to let our leaders know we don’t work for you. You work for us.

Dec 8, 2012 6:06PM
obama needs to be kicked out this  country will die with him in it
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