Tax Uncertainty Eases

The New York Times  BUSINESS  Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wide Relief as Tax Uncertainty is Lifted, by Catherine Rampell

“Even though Congress’s last minute-deal means higher taxes for almost all Americans, businesses and consumers are relieved that some of the uncertainty about what they will owe the government this year is gone.  

‘Once something gets settled, even if it’s not the mot popular settlement option, it still gives you a sense of what the rules are and what you need to do to readjust,’ said Sam Ramey, the owner of Sultan Mediterranean Cafe in North Andover, Mass., who says he hopes the deal will bolster the spirits of his customers…

Congress’s compromise on taxes eliminates some uncertainty.  But there’s no getting around the outcome that it will also reduce how much consumers have available to spend on dining our and other discretionary expenses.”

The author delineates some more of the effects of the deal on consumers and the general economy and: 

“The across-the-board reductions may be swapped out at least in part for other, unknown kinds of spending cuts or tax increases, which has left some Americans concerned about whether they might be in the cross hairs themselves. Republicans have been pushing for a new formula that would curb Social Security benefits, for example.  

‘Hopefully Congress has at least some compassion left buried in their minds and hearts and will step up to the plate and make sure our benefits aren’t cut,’ said Terry Grigg, 63, of San Diego.  His only income is about $12,000 from Social Security and disability benefits while he undergoes treatments for invasive skin cancer and a hernia. ‘ That would really be a slap in the face to the common man, to seniors, and to vets.”

Cross hairs refers to gun sights.  Some of Americans may get in the cross hairs when they think they will be OK.  Step up to the plate is a baseball term used a lot, especially lately with Congress taking until the last moments to get some fiscal business done so the country didn’t fall “off the fiscal cliff.”

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