Patch Poll: What's Your Biggest Worry If We Go Over the Fiscal Cliff?
Some lawmakers are in Washington, DC this weekend, trying to hammer out a last-minute deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, but if they don't, average citizens might feel the impact.
Our nation is less than two days from going over the "fiscal cliff"—and the compromise clock is ticking loudly.
Senate leaders worked toward a last-minute compromise on Saturday to avoid middle-class tax increases and possibly prevent deep spending cuts, such as a 27 percent fee cut for doctors who treat Medicare patients.
Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank, predicts that nearly 90 percent of households would be affected if Congressional leaders fail to reach a compromise before the Jan. 1 deadline.
Among the impacts to average citizens:
- Tax rates could rise, ranging from about $400 for the lowest income groups, $2,000 for the middle-income group, $14,000 for the top 20 percent and $120,000 for the top 1 percent.
- Unemployment benefits could be cut off
- Payroll deductions for Social Security could increase by 2 percent
- More citizens could be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax
- Educator expenses that allow teachers to write off up to $250 per year for supplies bought for the classroom could vanish
- Tuition breaks that allow students to receive a partial refund for college could expire
- The price of milk could more than double
Those things would hit people in the wallet, which in turn has the potential to adversely affect our already-weak economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has said the combination of tax increases and spending cuts could put us back into recession.
So, vote in our Patch Poll and tell us in the comments section how you feel about the prospects for your family should Congress not reach a compromise by the Jan. 1 deadline.