Are you ready to take a dive off the fiscal cliff? I am.
I have read, written and regurgitated enough information about the economic doom that awaits all of America if we dive off the fiscal cliff and my response is: Let’s go.
If you listen to the garbage spewed by Democrats, diving off the cliff is only going to hurt them. If you listen to the swill the Republicans want you to swallow, it’s all aimed at them.
The truth is, if America dives off the cliff, we go as a team. Everybody gets wet.
According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center (TPC), 88 percent of Americans will pay higher taxes. Nobody gets left out of this. According to the TPC, folks at the bottom end (earnings of less than $20,000) will pay $412 more in taxes than a year ago. Folks in the low-middle ($40,000 to $64,000) will pay $1,984 more. Folks in the high-middle ($64,000 to $108,00) will pay $3,540 more. Folks at the top end (more than $108,000) will pay, on average, $14,173 more.
Doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or Republican, you’ll pay.
Payroll Taxes Anyone?
Everybody who brings home a paycheck – and that would be 92 percent of work-eligible Americans, according to the latest unemployment figures – is going to get dinged by a payroll tax increase most of us never knew existed.
That’s 2 percent coming out of your paycheck every week, which may not sound like much, but when you do the math, that’s $500 for every $25,000 you make.
And please don’t forget the Alternative Minimum Tax, better known as the “rich tax.” About 28 million middle-class Americans are going to enjoy paying another $3,700 each because the government decided you actually belong in the same category as rich guys.
And what if you’re one of the millions of Americans who eat at the public troughs known as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security? Medicare feeds 44.3 million people, Medicaid 48.6 million, Social Security 63 million. Ding! Ding! Ding! Spending cuts for all of you!
And then there is the Defense Department. Its budget is $711 billion – more than the next 13 countries in the world spend combined! They’re due a $55 billion cut, but like everybody else on the team, that’s their way of chipping in to make things right.
And that is what I really like about taking a dive: America is going to have to do this as a team. Grandpas and grandkids. Welfare moms and soccer moms. Billionaires, millionaires and those of us with no aires.
Who’s Going to Foot the Bill?
Like it or not, every one of us has supped at the Government Dinner Table. We let politicians throw money at us like it was candy at a parade … now’s the time to pay up.
The bill is $16 trillion, which comes to about $51,282 per person. Keep the credit cards in your pocket. Putting it off is how we got here in the first place, and this is America, so there’s another way around it.
Economists say we don’t really need to pay back all $16 trillion. If we knock $4 trillion off the debt over the next 10 years, things should be under control and, after a six-month recession at the start, the economy should be fine. Each American’s share of $4 trillion over 10 years comes to about $1,282 a year.
That is a manageable number for Team America, especially when you consider how great it is to be part of this team. Every single American, no matter what economic or social level you’re living on, has it better than your peers anywhere in the world. Being responsible for a measly $1,282 a year is a pittance for the privilege of living in the USA.
So come on, let’s all take a dive.
I’m only asking one thing: Politicians go first. I always like having something to land on when I jump off a cliff.
Bill “No Pay” Fay has lived a meager financial existence his entire life. He started writing/bragging about it seven years ago, helping birth Debt.org into existence as the site’s original “Frugal Man.” Prior to that, he spent more than 30 years covering college and professional sports, which are the fantasy worlds of finance. His work has been published by the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News, among others. His interest in sports has waned some, but his interest in never reaching for his wallet is as passionate as ever. Bill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.