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Fiscal Cliff: Do the Tax Hikes Worry You?

As Washington works to head off the so-called fiscal cliff, we’d like to hear from you on how the possible tax hikes would impact your family right here in Tampa Bay.

With New Year’s just around the corner, all eyes are turning to Washington, D.C., where lawmakers are working to prevent America from falling off the so-called fiscal cliff.

That cliff, according to the Huffington Post, is the automatic activation of budget cuts and tax hikes that will kick in on Jan. 1, 2013, if something isn’t done to prevent them.

As it stands right now, no agreement has been reached between the Democrats and Republicans to prevent the financial changes from occurring. Some economists say the budget cuts and tax hikes will catapult America back into another recession.

President Barack Obama is cutting his holiday vacation short, according to the Post, and is returning to Washington to try and work out a deal. Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on a solution.

Of particular concern to many is the potential for middle class families – those that earn less than $250,000 a year – to see significant tax hikes on Jan. 1. The White House estimates the average increase on families at $1,600 a year. The hikes are anticipated to hit about 114 million middle class families.

What do you think about the potential tax hikes, Tampa Bay? How would an extra $1,600 out of your paycheck impact your family? Would you have to cut things out of your budget? How would you resolve the issue if you were a Washington lawmaker? Share your thoughts, concerns and ideas in the comments section.

RD December 27, 2012 at 06:59 PM
I hope they don't come to an agreement. If we head into a recession, the wealthy will be jumping off building and thinning the herd. The rest of us know how to survive on less. We've done it all our lives.
Ronald Joseph Kule December 27, 2012 at 07:45 PM
More taxes now would make it harder to recover, but "worry" is being caught in the vice called "maybe." To decide one way or the other is far better. Congress today worries, which leads to no resolution; they are in a maybe. Taxation is about how lawfully collected funds will be used by government and how they are collected. An economy thrives on exchanges of goods and services and a peoples' confidence in that economy. To tax more heavily when confidence is lacking -- in part because government spends on things the public does not want, or wastefully -- is both folly and dangerous. America now faces the harvest of the destructive spending of Congress and Presidents past. "What goes around comes around" applies. The correct current solution is to keep taxation low, curtail spending, encourage confidence and economic growth. The long-term solution is the elimination of income-based taxation and loopholes. Replacing the current tax-collection system with one national, retail sales tax would close all loopholes, ensure everyone pays a tax, allow for the easy collection of taxes, consign to wage-earners the free and self-controlled use of his/her earned wages and commissions and would ensure the power of the dollar is once again in the hands of the American people. A populace lacking confidence in Congressional use of its tax funds paid would buy less and save more; conversely, a satisfied, confident public would purchase more and expand the economy.
Leroy A Haggard December 27, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Unfortunately the fiscal cliff is a joke wih poloticians/ Our VP is seen with a big smile or laugh when mentioned about the fiscal cliff. Congress goes on vacation to supposedly cool off. They had months and months to think about it except to say one too many times, "Kick the can down the road"
Samuel Clemens December 27, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Please raise taxes on all Americans. I do not know how we could live with ourselves knowing dictators around the world aren't receiving enough "aid" via the backs of the American taxpayer. FYI: The cliff talk is nonsense when the Federal Govt is borrowing nearly .40 on every $1.00 spent. They can raise taxes on every single American and it wouldn't come close to correcting the debt, there is a spending problem.........until people start focusing on the spending, nothing will be change.......the spending must be addressed. Coburn is part of the problem but his yearly report highlighting some of the insane spending in DC is always worth a read......much of this is miniscule, but it still highlights the problem of spending taxpayer money unwisely. http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public//index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=b69a6ebd-7ebe-41b7-bb03-c25a5e194365 By the way, Charlie, do you have or others have ANY idea what the Federal Income tax pays for???????????????????????????
Jerry Kendall December 28, 2012 at 02:19 AM
One more time we see Obama's inability to lead and his "my way ot no way" attitude. This guy has to be the worst president to ever sit in the Oval Office. He is so stuborn that he does not grasp the concept of compromise. This will be a tough four years.
Happy December 28, 2012 at 05:52 AM
LOL...is this a Sally Struthers MBA graduate?
Happy December 28, 2012 at 05:53 AM
Good point!
Happy December 28, 2012 at 06:02 AM
The level of Class Warfare Warriors here is astounding! I would rather have the ability of waking up in the morning in a country that gives me the freedom to move up and down and through a class level than a country that doesn't give me that freedom at all. Hating the rich is only "cool" until you become one of them...the freedom to become rich (through work, education, whatever) is unique to us. Maybe we should fall off this cliff - it may prove that the people really do want Bush tax cuts! How can the media spin that one?
Allie's Grandpa December 28, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Over the last few decades, the super rich got tax cut benefits at the cost of the middle class. We should simply right the wrongs that were done, and return the tax base to a more equitable level; nobody, or at least no credible person, is talking about punishing the rich. Making things equitable, while helping us pay down the massive debt, is just the right thing to do.
vera charles December 28, 2012 at 07:00 AM
I don't know if you've been living in a cave, without communication with the outside world, but the GOP - my party, I'm ashamed to say - has tried to screw over President Obama every chance that they got. The tone was set after his 2008 election when GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that his priority was to make Obama a one-term president. Now we have the Tea Party lunatics even trying to stick it to GOP Speaker Boehner - again - and keep him from reaching a compromise with President Obama. In the summer of 20911 those TP lunatics prevented the President and the Speaker from reaching compromise on the extension of the debt ceiling, and the result was Standard & Poor's cutting the debt rating of the US from AAA to AA+. Now, unlike in 2011 and earlier this year in 2012, even some Republicans in the House and Senate are saying that this approach is wrong and destructive. They have called for a renewal of the Bush tax cuts for all but those earning over $250,000 per year, which was the proposal that Obama made, and ran under, when he was reelected with a healthy majority of voters supporting him. You are blaming the national rape victim, instead of the national rapists.
JaaaaaaayBeeeeeeeeee December 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Happy, You can post your qualifications here first and then I will post mine, OK? I'm pretty sure that I will trump yours. I'll give you a hint .... my Business education dates back to pre-Reagan Voodoo Economics.
Michael December 28, 2012 at 05:02 PM
The replies I'm reading are laughable. Blame the Tea Party, Blame the Rich, Blame Boehner, Blame McConnell. When our President is present and working without a budget and no plans for one. It doesn't make one bit of difference to him. He says the buck stops with him, but its still GWB's fault. If GWB didn't follow a democrat BO (stinky) would be blaming all the way back to Reagan and Nixon and don't forget the peanut farmer. Of course he never responds to legitimate questions like Fast and Furious or Benghazi. He has his lackey's to provide push back, who have learned the playbook well, to never answer a question accept with a question or distracting condemnation of their opponent. Of course some Republicans are willing to compromise they are under the impression they were elected to do just that. How many Democrats break ranks with any socialist agenda. It's also sad that Clinton won't make an appearance, but then if she were to testify under oath about who was involved with the Benghazi fiasco her future as the next president might be in jeopardy. It's painfully obvious who made decisions, predicated on his agenda for Islamist's and Africa. I say, the one continues to be laughable, just like his staunch defenders and if it weren't so tragic it would be laughable, not. No budget, no worry Timmy will print more money. If Timmy the tax chit can find an extra 200 billion wheres the cliff. I say let's fall, that way BO wins, but we do to with less spending. It's time to stop.
Samuel Clemens December 28, 2012 at 06:46 PM
I abhor all these so called representatives....and you should to....but let me ask you, Vera, who controlled the both Houses of Congress during Obama's first two years? The scumbag D's can grandstand all they want against the other R scum, but they could have at least passed a budget within that time. You must be living in a cave with many others to believe we need to raise taxes...raise the debt ceiling...compromise. STOP THE FREAKING SPENDING. Change the dialogue..STOP THE FREAKING SPENDING. Stop focusing on "revenue" and start focusing on what can truly make a difference......the spending. Unlike you cave dwellers, I am tired of criminals thinking they own me and the fruits of my labor. They steal money from you and I to fund insanity around the globe and the brain washed slaves like to rattle their chains as they call for more compromise...more taxes...more Govt involvement in our lives. And for the truly brain dead who believe the expiration of these cuts will hurt the "rich," you are sorely mistaken. Real wealth could care less about the tax rates in this country because they avoid them. Sure, Mr "Tax me more" Buffett wants you to believe people of his ilk will be affected by the expired tax cuts, but he's well aware it will do nothing to his portfolio. And for you advocating more taxes for the "rich," be aware, it will not stop with them.....taxes will be raised on all to continue funding the insanity. Check out the history of the income tax.
Michael December 28, 2012 at 07:30 PM
STOP THE FREAKING SPENDING. It was BO who said we wouldn't run over the fiscal cliff during his campaign. But then he's been campaigning for the last 6 years ever since he was elected Senator, so who can remember all the lies he's told. Talk about brain dead electorate, with his voting record in the senate. But then with no record nothing could stick to him. Just like the way he is leading HA! HA!. from behind. Let rich Pelosi, Moron Reid and the court jester VP do all his front work. With a dash of Rice and Clinton for good measure. Neither one of those women could hold a candle to the other Rice. In case any of you can't remember Condolezza the first black woman Secretary of State under GWB. Go ahead you have my permission to explode Socialists. I'd rather be having a reasonable discussion about spending, but these Democrats and Rhinos make it irrestible to agitate them.
Walt Kowalski December 28, 2012 at 08:09 PM
“Credit card from the Bank of China” was a favorite phrase of Obama’s during his 1st campaign in 2008. He used it in an April 2008 debate, a June 2008 appearance, and others as well, usually tying it to tax cuts. How soon we forget.
Shripathi Kamath December 28, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Because it is a stupid idea. The assumption that everyone *starts* off where they are today for a new way of taxing is what makes it a stupid idea. AN idea so stupid that the most ardent supporter of tax reform (Ron Paul) would not support it. It's like the aftermath of the Civil War. Declare all slaves freed and then... nothing. So the slave who had nothing, no property, no opportunity, starts off free with nothing. The master who had built his fortune on back of the slave just loses a slave he was not supposed to have in the first place. Without reconstruction of some kind, a flat tax is simply even more regressive a system than we have today
Shripathi Kamath December 28, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Thank you Mitt for this.
Shripathi Kamath December 28, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Thank you Mitt, for this too
Michael December 29, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Sharpathi, Thanks for your clear if not stupid comment.
Torrey Craig December 30, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Say what you wish, however I believe our congressman Gus Bilirakis co-sponsored a bill in Congress for a flat tax.
michael mirra December 30, 2012 at 02:18 AM
People make a big deal about returning to the tax rates that will be similar to what tax was under Bubba Clinton. I seem to remember that the economy was going pretty good. It seems like it's just Republicans blowing hot air & making a mountain out of a mole hill again as they have since they lost power. The House of Representitives, that is causing the stalemate, has a lower approval rate right now than Kadafi had among the people that killed him. That's a FACT. Most Americans have the common sense to see that the Government's only problem is the Republicans doing nothing except fighting against everything positive that the powers in control want to do to help the American economy. The economy is improving anyway in spite of Republican sabatage.
michael mirra December 30, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Raise taxes on the rich sky high. They have been raping the common man long enough. I say raise taxes on ANYONE that makes over 50,000 a year on a graduating scale & tax anyone making over 250,000 by about 40%. Close their loopholes. Individuals making that kind of money can afford to tighten their belts. If they won't pay the working class what they deserve, take it from them. REDISTRIBUTE THE WEALTH.
michael mirra December 30, 2012 at 02:34 AM
You people make some big deal about Benghazi. If the Government didn't provide security that suits you, I'm sure they had a reason. They don't have to tell you anymore than Bush had to tell you why he was so lax that he failed to do anything about the memo he was given just before 9/11 that was titled BIN LAUDIN DETERMINED TO ATTACK WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. Condelleza Rice testified that Bush was given that memo, with that title, before 9/11. The gov. has their reasons for things. If 9/11 was foiled, there would have been no excuse to attack Iraq. If the ambasodor in Bangazhazi wasn't killed, he would have continued his illegal operations that our inner security knew about, but wanted to keep under wraps.
Allie's Grandpa December 30, 2012 at 04:56 AM
All that flat tax would do is reward the super-rich, and the merely-very-rich, and screw the middle class. When I was working I earned a lot more than I make in retirement, and I paid a lot more in taxes - in both percentage and certainly absolute - but that was right, because I was blessed by a high income and could help our nation more. I didn't need a flat tax then, though I would have retained a lot more money, and I don't need a flat tax now, and neither does this great nation. Mr Bilrakis (my Congressman, by the way) should be ashamed of himself for such an attack on the middle class in America.
-Ed Harris- December 30, 2012 at 09:50 PM
I visited the fiscal cliff, it turned out to be a mole hill and the food was lousy and it was a cash bar! So not classy!
michael mirra December 30, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Republicans are always anti Tax. Then if they don't have the government services that THEY think are important, they complain. Republicans don't want to help those in need. My Father -Salvatore Mirra- used to imitate Republicans by saying, "..how can you be hungery? My belly is full." The true Republican motto should be I'M NOT MY BROTHER'S KEEPER. While the Democratic motto should be AMERICANS DON'T LEAVE THEIR NEEDY TO TWIST IN THE WIND. Republicans don't want the $ people to help the downtrodden. Remember who said, "what you do to the least of mine, you do unto me."? The fiscal cliff is just the Republicans fighting for the interest of the ultra rich. What else is new? In Farenhight 911, there is a filmed scene of GeorgeW Bush speaking to a room of multi billionairs. He says, "people call you the rich & powerful, I just call you my base."
Barbara Shannon December 31, 2012 at 12:11 AM
As Mark Twain once said: "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
Goin' Commando December 31, 2012 at 01:06 AM
“Are there no prisons? . . .And the Union workhouses?” demanded Scrooge . . .”Are they still in operation? . . . The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigor, then?” . . . “Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” . . . those who are badly off must go there.” If they would rather die, then let them, and reduce the surplus population.
-Ed Harris- December 31, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Someone needs to find the reset button for Congress! Oh yeah that's right, it's a voting booth in 2014! You will all have a chance to send home Congressmen that would rather protect the rich then help the middle class and the poor. That goes for Democrats and Republicans! There is nothing wrong with being in either party as long as you are moderate and think of others before yourself, know how to compromise and check your individual religion at the door. You represent the American people not red or blue, not christian or Jew but all the people. The swinging to the right or left days are over. All of Congress is the minority and all of us are the majority. We want fair taxes, fair programs, smallest govt needed to do the job properly, fair regulations, smallest military needed to do the job properly but strong and most of all LOSE THE STUPIDITY AND LACK OF COMPROMISE! We hired you and we can fire you just as quick. If anything was learned from this last election it's that none of you are safe and all the money you can raise from the rich whether conservative or liberal does not matter to us. Run all the ads you want, we will run you out of office on election day!
michael mirra December 31, 2012 at 12:22 PM
The voting booth is the answer. The Republicans are bending over backwards to solidify their image with their base. The only reason that the negotiations are going nowhere is because they want to show the rich capitalists that they won't abandon them. The Democrats are weak & the Republicans are stubborn. Most people realize that if the common man suffers due to this stubborn attitude that they will be screwed in benifits to the unemployed, etc. due to Republicans that have fought everything since their idiocy has been removed from major power. I heard on the radio the other day that the Republicans in Congress have an approval rating of 11%. Kadafi had an approval od 14% among the people that killed him. It amazes me that the Republicans are destroying their party & can't see it. They really thought Romney would win, when it was obvious that he had no chance at all. Republicanism is dead, but we do need another party. One party government isn't good. If Republicanism rises again with someone like Ron Paul, at the head, they may have a chance to survive. I still prefer the Democrats view of fighting for the common man against the intersts of the rich that want to screw the common man for their financal gain.

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