The fiscal cliff and your paycheck (and it's not pretty) - | WBTV Charlotte

The fiscal cliff and your paycheck (and it's not pretty)


It's only when you put the dreaded fiscal cliff in terms of dollars and cents that you will really understand how serious it is.

For every American, your paychecks would be thousands of dollars lighter over the course of 2013 if Congress can't reach an agreement before January 1.

"It's like three months of childcare for me. I wouldn't have it," said Andrea White, a hardworking single mom from Charlotte.  

And not being able to afford daycare for 6 year old Andre would be just the beginning.

"It means I might lose my job," White admitted. "I might not have anyone to keep him anymore."

According to the Tax Policy Center, here's the breakdown for your paycheck without a new deal to keep the Bush-era tax cuts from expiring and billions in automatic spending cuts from taking effect.

If you make between $20,000 and $40,000 a year, you'll see your taxes jump $1,200.

In the $40,000 to $64,000 range? Yours will be up by $2,000.

And for the $64,000 to $108,000 spectrum, it will be an extra $3,500 you'll pay in taxes in 2013.

Those numbers are exactly why Will Jenkins, another Charlottean, said the time for politicking is over.

"The talking heads on TV saying which side scored points and which didn't," he said. "If they could just be removed from that and focus on the job to do, that'd be much better."

Without an agreement Jenkins also says it would also mean cutting corners -- even on the necessities.

"Make sure the thermostat is turned down to the bare minimum I can stand," he said. 

Despite her growing concern, White is confident an agreement will be made, even if it comes together at the last minute.

"They have to," she said. "Otherwise, we're gonna end up in a recession again."

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner did meet Wednesday at the White House but no deal was reached.

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