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 7, 2012 2:59PM
oballsack 2012 - The dumbing down of America -  I am half way there minions

Geez, that's the price of a low end economy car every year. I want a receipt for what they are doing with the money. I get one for a cup of coffee, why not?

Dec 7, 2012 2:58PM
I am completely fed up with all the politics! I don't mind paying MY fair share. But there has to be an end of all the spending. For those who want all these entitlements they come at a price.  Those in congress no longer know how to compromise, they take way to many breaks without doing anything. What a life they have! Until we get someone in office that knows what it is like to have to work for an honest  living, we are going to have people that can not relate to everyday life. Do You really think they care about the people, I mean really the only way there is going to be change is through term limits. Then those who have been in congress 20years and not done anything would not have the clout they have. We need to get rid of all of them and get a fresh start with new people in there from the top down! till then I'm done.
Dec 7, 2012 2:58PM
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC,offers one of the best
quotes about the debt ceiling ...
"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law
that says that any time there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all
sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election."  The 26th
amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months
and 8 days to be ratified! Why?  Simple! The people demanded it.  That was
in 1971 - before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or
less to become the law of the land - all because of public pressure. Warren
Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty
people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In
three days, most people in The United States of America will have the
This is one idea that really should be passed around.  Congressional Reform
Act of 2012
1. No Tenure/No Pension
   A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay
when they're out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
   All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social
Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security
   system,and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be
used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay
will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the
same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective
12/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with
    Congressmen/women. Congress made all these contracts for themselves.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.

The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve
their term(s), then go home and back to work. If each person contacts a
minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people
(in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Don't you think it's time ?

Dec 7, 2012 2:57PM
oballsack also hates blacks, so don't think that is going to save you..
Dec 7, 2012 2:57PM

One thing we absolutely don't want to do is give more money to the rich.  They got tax breaks & eased regulatory enforcement under the previous administration, & promptly perpetrated the Great Subprime Mortgage Scam.  Then they demanded baliouts totalling over a trillion dollars, & promptly put millions of Americans out of their jobs.

Do the math.  The mean income for American workers is about $50,000.  A trillion dollars is enough to pay the salaries of 2,000,000 people for 10 years.  Where are those jobs?

The welfare (bailout) made them lazy.  Why bother to work at expanding markets, & increasing production (by hiring producers) when you can get government money?  And now they've apparently become dependent on those tax breaks, considering how opposed they are to eliminating them.

Remember your objections to welfare?

Dec 7, 2012 2:56PM
Most of you fools that are complaining voted for the AS***le that is responsible........I can at least sleep knowing that my vote is not responsible !
Dec 7, 2012 2:56PM
oballsack is already working on concentration camps... If you aint muslim you will die.  Thats the truth folks...
Dec 7, 2012 2:56PM
I've got a bucket of tar...Anybody got some feathers???
Dec 7, 2012 2:55PM
you know if the fed came down on the employers hiring immigrant workers and paying them under the table to avoid taxes, and deported all illegal's, then cut welfare completely and forced those individuals to get off their freeloading asses and find jobs from the companies no longer employing illegal's and tax them we wouldn't be concerned with this whole fiscal cliff thing. my taxes wouldn't be feeding the the bastards that they are now. of course they would have to loosen up the gun laws to protect us hard working americans from the scum that wont take to kindly to having their welfare and food stamps revoked. you know they will probably work harder at stealing from us than they would at a real job. WE'RE ****ED
Dec 7, 2012 2:55PM
Why not describe how much revenue would be raised in comparison to the debt obligation which is the elephant in the room  and remind folks that this tax increase does little or nothing to solve the problem?  Focusing just on the tax increase only escalates the "class warfare" that Obama rode to victory.  People need  to learn how much they and their descendants owe as part of the country's debt.     I'm not wealthy and don't pay much income tax but am concerned about where this is taking the country.   But I guess if one doesn't pay taxes one isn't too concerned?
Dec 7, 2012 2:54PM
I like this bill more taxes and less government. It's just what we need to really get a balanced  economy. A little pain for everyone but no Politian on the left is willing to cut their favorite vote getting give away and none on the right are willing to tax more and lose their campaign financing
Dec 7, 2012 2:54PM
I think that the Republicans are selfish and don't want to help our president or the country. they would rather see the people of our nation in debt but to have them paying taxes. You already have a  lot of money what is it going to hurt to have to give some back. SELFISH, SELFISH,SELFISH!!!!!!!!
Dec 7, 2012 2:53PM
Why not! Take more! It's the governments way! We can't do a thing about it but complain! As for me I'm moving everything to tax exempt securities wherever I find them like 401K etc. If you don't they will get it in a year and time always has a way of catching up! 
Maybe the Maya had it right and were only a few days off. Heck, I bet you couldn't accurately predict the end of the world (fiscal cliff) centuries ago. Have a great Christmas shopping or not. Better save your money for April 15.
Dec 7, 2012 2:53PM
great, i now qualify for welfare. Thanks sweet deal
Dec 7, 2012 2:53PM
oballsack wants more money to give to muslim terrorists
Dec 7, 2012 2:52PM

It's funny how I'm not reading any comment from the Democraps side on this matter.  


"Ah Look, I'm the president and I'm going to draw this thing out and in the end I'm going to do what I want because I have the power to impose an Executive Order.  Thank you for your vote...Suckazzzz!" 

Dec 7, 2012 2:52PM
According to this chart, my husband and I are classified in the upper middle tax bracket.  That explains why we have a small house, old cars and shop at Walmart for our clothes, food and household items.  WE already pay enough in taxes!! Why don't you make those able bodied idiots who have 20 kids and live off welfare, get jobs and start paying taxes?!  I'm tired of paying for people to sit around, while I work my tail off and pay more and more damn taxes!  ENOUGH, ENOUGH ENOUGH!!!!  When will this government pull their heads out and LEARN? 
If I was as ineffective at my work as the politicians are, I'd get my "walking papers" right away.  Vote against every incumbent.
Dec 7, 2012 2:51PM
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