No cliff-diving...what's in the deal?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 - 7:46pm

Well the deal is done, though no one is very happy about it.

The fiscal cliff is temporarily avoided, but if you think your taxes will stay the same, you will be disappointed.

While it may be good to see a little cooperation in Washington, they cooperated in doing very little. The so-called fiscal cliff was avoided.

Taxes only go up on the top 2% of income earners, and the middle class is safe. Well, sort of.

That’s because payroll taxes, Social Security and Medicare, which had been cut in half, go back to their normal rates. And that means we all pay more.

The Tax Policy Center has run the numbers and here’s what it looks like: Annual income:

$20,000 to $30,000

Average tax increase: $297
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Annual income: $30,000 to $40,000
Average tax increase: $445
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Annual income: $40,000 to $50,000
Average tax increase: $579
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Annual income: $50,000 to $75,000
Average tax increase: $822
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Annual income: $75,000 to $100,000
Average tax increase: $1,206
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Annual income: $100,000 to $200,000
Average tax increase: $1,784
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Annual income: $200,000 to $500,000
Average tax increase: $2,711
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Annual income: $500,000 to $1 million
Average tax increase: $14,812
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Annual income: More than $1 million
Average tax increase: $170,341

In addition, little or nothing was done about the increasing national debt, now totaling over $16 trillion.

“If you just stand back and forget all partisanship,” says former Reagan Administration budget official Ron Haskins, “you need to increase revenues and reduce spending. So we did increase revenues. I think that’s generally a good thing, I’m a Republican, but I’ve made this argument before. But to do it in the context of no spending cuts is astounding.”

So, will the new Congress be any better than the lame duck?

“You know, with a straight face, what could you say will be better,” Haskins says.

So, it looks like the lame duck Congress didn’t even kick the can down the road. It seems to have barely cleared the front porch.

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