How the 'fiscal cliff' would impact the public

LOS ANGELES

With the president and Congress still in debate we can now count the minutes to when the country goes over the fiscal cliff, but what we really need to count are the dollars Americans will have to pay in additional taxes if we do fall off the cliff, and we are right on the edge.

Just take a look at these numbers from the Tax Policy Center: for someone earning between $50,000 and $75,000 a year their will pay more than $2,300 in added taxes. That's $89 out of your paycheck every two weeks. If you make more you'll pay more. Earn between 75 and 100 thousand dollars a year and you'll pay more than 35oo dollars in taxes for the year. That's 137 dollars taken out of your paycheck every two weeks.

But the pain doesn't stop there. For quite some time we have been getting a break on what we pay into social security.

That will change with a 2 per cent cut in take home pay. For someone making 50 thousand a year that's almost a 1000 dollars you won't have in your paycheck for the year.

These are taxes and cuts that will change the way Americans budget for their family.

The impact will not only hit those making money but those on unemployment too. Three-million people out of work will automatically lose their emergency benefits in early 2013.

"Here we are once again staring at a crisis we should have dealt with months ago," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

That said there may still be hope. Here in California we've begun to see some signs of an economic recovery with lower unemployment, more home sales, and increased retail sales.

Falling off the cliff could short-circuit all of that.

However, if a deal is made and even if it's a few weeks from now, it is expected the changes would be made retroactive getting us back on track for a better year.

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