Americans, the Fiscal Cliff games have begun! It's turning out to be a brutal fight, and there's a lot of numbers getting thrown around. But here's the one number I care about right now: I want my two thousand dollars.
I'm like that paper boy in the movie Better Off Dead yelling "I want my two dollars!" Just add a few zeroes. That $2,200 is the average amount a middle-class household will pay more in taxes if Washington doesn't come to an agreement before January. And you know what the killer is? If it wants to, Congress can agree to extend middle-class tax cuts now, before it digs into the bigger, messier arguments about raising taxes for wealthier households and cutting spending. Here's why.
The proposed tax bill is actually a two-part bill. Part one is extending tax breaks for the middle class. Part two is all the other stuff those guys are going to argue over forever. BUT! They could pass that first part now before they reach an agreement over other cuts and hikes. And WHY AREN'T THEY?
I think this is such a no-brainer. If I may use another lame, over-used cliche, it's a win-win. Middle class tax break? Why thank you every politician who voted for it! We will now go spend some money during this, our holiday season. Because guess who has the most economic power in America? Guess who makes the wheels go round? Guess who actually spends more when they get a tax break? Guess who will use that tax break to fuel the economy and help create jobs?
We middle-class families, that's who! Even business owners -- the richy-rich ones -- want this middle-class tax cut to happen pronto:
- "Our customers are working hard to adapt to the 'new normal,' but their confidence is still very fragile. They are shopping for Christmas now and they don't need uncertainty over a tax increase." Mike Duke, CEO of Walmart.
- "I encouraged the President to continue working with Congressional leadership to find a balanced solution to the deficit that will avoid middle class tax increases." Craig Jelinek, President and CEO of Costco.
As for tax breaks on the higher end? They do diddly. Historically those tax cuts have the least effect on the economy: .01 percent of an impact, and that's being generous. It's all about us, middle-class peeps.
Obviously both sides are going to have to make some sacrifices to reach an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff. That's going to take time and a lot of discussion. But that's part two of the bill. Part one could happen now, but only if you're telling the people you elected that you want it. Here's how:
1. Tweet "#My2K" to say what that $2,000 in tax breaks means for you and your family. Read President Obama's My2K Twitter chat from today where he answered questions.
2. Tell what that tax cut will mean for you and your family at WhiteHouse.gov.
3. Pester your representative and just tell them you want your two thousand dollars! You can look them up here by entering your zip code. They all have pages with "contact me" links. And they all have interns keeping track of comments and emails, so yes it does matter. And! Your friends don't even have to know that you spoke out in support of something that sprung from Obama's head. Because I know how some of you feel about supporting anything Obama-like. No one has to know!
How would your family deal with a $2,200 tax increase?
Image via DonkeyHotey/Flickr