Everyone will feel impact of ‘fiscal cliff’

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, November 28, 2012

As the fiscal cliff looms ahead, average Americans are wondering what will happen – and how far we’ll drop.

The “fiscal cliff” refers to the taxes, increases and spending cuts designed to help curtail an out-of-control federal budget deficit. With significant increases in personal gains, federal income and dividend taxes, the cliff is likely to take a toll on millions of Americans. Just how many of the middle class will be affected remains to be seen –and is hotly debated on both sides of the aisle in Washington.

Avoiding the fiscal cliff seems impossible. It looms because we have for too long postponed facing our spending glut. We’ve avoided making the difficult decisions of raising taxes, cutting benefits and federal spending, and tightening our collective belt in order to balance our federal budget.

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Eventually, we need to answer for our decisions. It seems that day will come on Jan. 1, 2013.

And while Washington officials debate how best to soften the blow, we know that all of us – those who will pay more in taxes and those who must be willing to cut back on government benefits or perks – must do our part to realign our federal budget and right our fiscal ship.

It won’t be an easy process, and we’re all likely to feel the pain. But it’s one that we can no longer avoid.