Yahoo News asked readers to react to Washington's fiscal-cliff deal, forged late Tuesday night? Are they happy? Will they benefit? Here's how the agreement plays out for one American.
FIRST PERSON | The local radio broadcasts I follow in San Francisco are filled with fiscal cliff deal explanations interspersed with tangible sighs of relief and annoyance from call-in listeners. I echo those sentiments.
On the earnings front, I manage to earn less now than I did in the '80s and '90s, so protecting every penny is important. I am not one bit pleased to see payroll taxes return to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent on the first $113,700 of income, even though I understand this is a return to levels of 24 months ago.
On the savings front, I am affected by stock market fluctuations, where my meager savings are parked since the banks offer next to nothing. As a risk-averse 50-something individual, I am glad to see the markets rise following this morning's opening bell. I am certainly relieved we're not casting for the sequel, "Instant Recession: Part II" starring the American public.
However, I am not impressed to know that we face another deadline regarding the debt ceiling as of March 27. And I am truly not impressed by corporate giveaways such as the extended tax incentive for luxury redevelopment around the former site of the World Trade Center Towers. One wonders what else is incorporated at the last minute without allowing time for public scrutiny. Legislators should be required to have a cooling off period to give the public a chance to find out what's in and what's out before there is a vote.
Personally, the unemployment, child and college tuition tax credits don't benefit me, but I favor these. I also favor the rise in estate taxes above $5 million and the rise in the tax rate for wealthier Americans.
Relieved at having avoided falling off a steep cliff, I join many others who are fed up with obstinate elected representatives who continue to steer us to the edge of falling off this cliff they built with Wall Street's assistance. Let's have Congress perform the job professionally and have a less stressful 2013.