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 3:22PM
Barry Soetoro thinks he can rule from afar.  Now is not the time to go on vacation!  If he does not stay in Washington and hammer out a deal he will be just as guilty as the Congress in kicking us off the cliff!
Dec 7, 2012 3:21PM

Sounds like what our country needs.


Dec 7, 2012 3:21PM

My solution to our economic problems , All federal employees making over $50,000.00 take a 10% pay cut , all over $100,000.00 take a 15% cut , all over  $150,000.00 take a 20% cut , everybody else by 25% cut and CAP ALL FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY AT NO MORE THAN $250,000.00 .

If you call yourself LEADER in any gov. job then YOU SHOULD SET THE EXAMPLE as it is an honor to serve the people.

After the example has been implemented , look at what the federal governments income is and make a budget that only spends 80% of that amount of money. The remainder should be used for national emergency and to pay down the national debt. JUST LIKE A HOUSEHOLD BUDGET !

Dec 7, 2012 3:20PM
are these rates after your deductions?
Dec 7, 2012 3:19PM
I wonder how many of the people complaining voted for obama?
Dec 7, 2012 3:18PM
Thanks, Obama, for nothing.  I'm already struggling.  Am I going to be living on the streets next??
Dec 7, 2012 3:17PM
Anyone who wants to see where our hard earned tax dollars are going check out Senator Tom Coburn's Wastebook 2012.  It is free on the internet.  Whether Democrat or Republican, it will make your blood boil to see where billions of dollars are going.
Dec 7, 2012 3:17PM
Fine job the brown clown is doing, aye libtards...
Dec 7, 2012 3:14PM
75% of the country pays very little income taxes, only 12% of the total income taxes. Yet these are the same idiots that think they are over taxed while bitching  the rich should pay more. The top 1% pay 34% of the total. A 2 income family of 4 with 2 kids under 17 making $50,000 pays $0 in income taxes. This is one dumb country. You can't fix stupid by taxing the responsible and successful and rewarding stupidity and laziness. Its just too easy for dumb azz democrats to vote themselves a share of other people's money.
Dec 7, 2012 3:11PM
oballsack will eventually go down like the brown clown that he is...
Dec 7, 2012 3:10PM

I have a thought. Why do we argue over the small things. I say put everyone in the same medical plan, the same ss plan and our politians will make sure these plans work. Because they are part of them.

Dec 7, 2012 3:09PM

If this is fact or even less than half true home owners will not be able to pay their mortgages and just stop.  Well there goes the idea,delusion,promise,lie or mis understanding that people under 250k will not see "one penny" of increased taxes.  I think we should all send "Mesiah Obama" and his illusionists

a nice holiday impeachment petition.  Basically what this chart is saying is that we all have too much money and the goverment manages it better than we all do.  Amazing ......

Dec 7, 2012 3:09PM

Those of you who pity the poor rich folks who worked so hard to become successful are laughably pathetic.  They don't work.  Work is for inferior subhumans who don't possess the gene for inherited wealth.  Yep, that's you too.  And me.

The rich make money the old fashioned way, they inherit it.  Then they invest in various criminal scams, swindles, con games, & embezzlement schemes.  All you can do is hope you were brainwashed into buying that crap.  Intelligence is no defense against brainwashing.  Just appeal to their intellects, & the bright folks take the hook.  They're so easy.

I hope I'm not stupid enough to buy their garbage, & bet you hope the same.

Dec 7, 2012 3:07PM
I'm glad I can honestly tell my grandchildren that I didn't vote for this administration that is so obsessed with punishing hardwork.   We need the 9-9-9 plan that Herman Cain proposed.     My definition of "FAIR" is far different than the President's.     9% of middle income is far less than 9% of high income, but it is FAIR if all pay the same percentage.     Simple MATH is a foreign language to Democrats.    DEMs are all for taking from the successful and give to the lazy.    There are some that need help, but the majority are just plain BUMS
Dec 7, 2012 3:05PM
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes oballsack to destroy the Nation...
Dec 7, 2012 3:05PM

Here we go again.  Yet another **** committee, a Super **** Committee no less, to sit around and play ****.  Wonderful.  Here's the bottom line folks:  Things are gonna get much worse before they become a total cluster. There has been so many things converging for years to culminate into the perfect financial storm.  The US government does not want to tell you the real truth about how screwed we Americans really are.  Wanna know why?  Because to quote Jack Nicholson-"You  (we) can't handle the truth".  Telling Americans about our financial realities is like parents telling their kids there will be no Christmas this year.  And, because of this mentality, the wild spending went on and on, the waste went on and on, the corruption went on and get the picture, some of you won't get it though unless it's in high def....right?  So, until spending is reigned in, until waste is drastically cut down, and until corruption in business and government is curtailed a significant amount, we will suffer as will future generations.  What is the likelihood of these things happening?  Well, let's be honest.  The last item, corruption (and the inertia behind corruption-greed) really is the catalyst for the other two items, namely spending and waste.  The probabilty of corruption being significantly curtailed: 0%.  So, even the most simple minded American can put this one together (I think).  Will we go flying off the fiscal cliff?  Yes.  It's just when we will.  To make a simple analogy, we as a nation need to place a guard-rail at the top of the cliff and NOT have an ambulance in the valley.  This way, the cliff may be scary high, but if we are going the speed limit and have the guard rail in place, we won't need the clean up crew down below.  Too bad we won't make that the saying goes, "watch that last step, it's a doozy".





Dec 7, 2012 3:04PM
hartlandbadger , republicans and corporations alone did not get us into this mess. It was ALL OF US.  We have lived above our means,borrowed form foreign countries, and shipped many of our good jobs over seas because the people here are to dumb or to lazy to do the work. On top of that our leaders in business and government have compounded the problem by bowing to the ridiculous demands of the dregs of society. There will be hunger and mass destruction in this country before we return to the great nation status that we once were. 
Dec 7, 2012 3:03PM
Hail oballsack,  hail oballsack...  If it looks like Hitler, smells like Hitler, acts like Hitler.... guess what people we have a half black Hitler on our hands...
Dec 7, 2012 3:01PM
Mandate college level economics courses for Congress every 4 years.
Dec 7, 2012 2:59PM
Prepare for the new normal. Apparently the old one wasn't onerous enough. Seriously, Washington is past the point of wiggle room on the budget and the viability of the old robust economy is being taxed and inflated away. Hang on to what you have and be vigilant for opportunities (Barter?). Remember the good old days, that should be your point of reference, and beware those in the news media who would preach a rosy outcome.
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