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View Diary: What the fiscal cliff means for the middle class (54 comments)

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  •  I suspect that the very first... (8+ / 0-)

    people to feel the 2013 "cliff" will be low-wage to lower-middle class wage earners. It'll be immediate.

    I say that because the payroll tax cut is set to expire. Granted this is not a Bush tax cut and is peripheral to broader debate, but tell that to someone living paycheck-to-paycheck who will have to absorb a 2% pay cut starting Jan. 1.

    I realize this was never supposed to be permanent and the long-term health of Social Security is part of this discussion. But it's amazing how a year changes things. This time last year Republicans were busy cratering themselves by opposing its extension and Obama was reaping great political benefit by supporting it.

    Now it's looking like we're going to get this fiscal party started with the most regressive action on the table.


    •  Yes but people didn't notice when the received (3+ / 0-)

      those additional $$s (on purpose!) - so the huge weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth now that they're going away seems just a tad overwrought!

      •  that $300 check was less than one extra paycheck a (15+ / 0-)

        year...and they thought they could buy us off with that?

        I was offended by the whole idea of the Bush tax cuts back in the Spring of 2001 when they were planing ahead for 2011 and making absolutely certain the tax cuts would be a re-run election issue in 2012.

        Speaking of things that were never supposed to be permanent, my father-in-law passed this e-mail onwards, and whether or not it's from Warren Buffet, I agree.

        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 do.
        4. Congress will no longer vote them selves 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 people.
        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.
        especially the parts I emphasized, along with Remove the Social Security Cap and send those inheritance and capital gains taxes through the roof. Also let's have some windfall profits taxes on the energy companies...
        •  I recall a fairly good dog and pony show (9+ / 0-)

          a couple of Dems did when back when to illustrate the Bush Tax Cuts - they went out the parking lot where a brand new Lexus was parked, while another person was there holding a muffler.

          Illustrating the benefits to the 1% ers and the average guy/gal, respectively.    

          But most Dems went ahead and voted for the idiocy anyways.    Because the bottom line is that sadly enough "we" are bought off very cheaply.  Or just damn stupid

          •  Senators Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt (1+ / 0-)
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            The problem was, they were trying to express the proportion of inequality, and many people thought the Bush "tax relief plan" would just give each millionaire enough money for exactly one Lexus.

            The reality was more like fleets of Lexi... but even so, both Senators were scolded for their "lack of "bipartisanship in the CorpMedia.

            Have you noticed?
            Politicians who promise LESS government
            only deliver BAD government.

            by jjohnjj on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 05:46:18 PM PST

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          •  "Most Dems"? (0+ / 0-)

            If so, why did Republicans need to use "reconciliation" proceedures to pass it? (That's the reason it expired after 10 years.) Republicans had a majority, I'm sure they got a handful of Dem votes but hardly "most"...

            "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

            by Alice in Florida on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 08:50:42 PM PST

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        •  The first thing I did when they made... (3+ / 0-)

          ...that stupid payroll tax compromise was to increase my 401k withholding by 2%. I didn't want to get used to the extra income or reward the proposal with better economic numbers.

          If they end the payroll tax cut, I'll just cut my 401k contributions 2% again, or rather, don't at first and see if I can get away without doing it.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 12:58:07 PM PST

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          •  I increased my income tax withholding (1+ / 0-)
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            Everyone tells me I was stupid to do so, but when the increases come (  viz )  . . .

            "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

            by Rikon Snow on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 01:41:14 PM PST

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            •  At least you save that way (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rikon Snow

              I generally try to have auto-withholding of whatever type (tax, 401k, whatever) set as high as reasonable in my personal finances.

              I find it very easy to spend money that makes it into my discretionary bank account so I try to keep that value lowish.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 10:25:26 AM PST

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    •  The first ones to feel it are those whose (0+ / 0-)

      unemployment benefit extensions end at the end of the year.  There's no marginal percentage change to their paychecks, like the people who will have their taxes increased a couple of percent.  They are immediately without income.

      Yes, it's not a majority of the people, but it will immediately hit them hard, and rather quickly it will hit those who rely upon the unemployed still needing housing, food, transportation, etc, to stay alive and looking for work.

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