Your Dec. 23 headline “No tax deal skews January paychecks” does not apply to the great majority of taxpayers. Both parties agree that tax rates will remain unchanged for household incomes under $250,000. Due to the time required to adjust withholding, for most of us it will make no difference if that agreement is delayed.
Even if Congress were to fail to act until sometime in January, tax withholding from paychecks for the great majority of households will never be changed. It is wrong to frighten people by saying “taxpayers could get hit with big tax bills” later when in fact this applies only to high-income households. And even they would have a tax increase delayed. The rest of us will see no change in our income tax. (Both parties have agreed to let the payroll tax go back up, which is another story.) Such misleading reporting reduces our confidence in the wire service (Associated Press) that wrote it. It is disappointing that The Gazette published the mistake.
Even the extreme cuts in defense and domestic spending scheduled to occur would take effect only gradually. Fiscal cliff is a term that should be reserved for a failure which will be encountered again soon. Regarding going over that fiscal cliff, which would have a devastating effect on the economy, please notice that the same Republican-controlled House that has threatened to do that also appropriates the spending.