FBR’s Mills: Americans Will Pay for ‘Landmines’ in Fiscal Cliff Deal

Monday, 07 Jan 2013 08:06 AM

By Michelle Smith

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The fiscal cliff compromise, officially named the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, supposedly saved Americans from a serious recession that would have been sparked by a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. The irony is that averting the cliff will still cost Americans — and not just the rich ones.

Financial policy Analyst Ed Mills of FBR Capital Markets tells Yahoo there are three "landmines" in the legislation that will affect all Americans immediately.

Notable among the landmines is the 2 percent hike in payroll taxes that boosts the rate to 6.2 percent.

Video:
Economist Predicts 'Unthinkable' for 2013

Approximately 77 percent of Americans will have higher taxes because of this tax, according to the Tax Policy Center, resulting in $115 billion less in disposable income, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Breaking it down to a more personal level, Mills calculates that the average American will make $80 dollars less per paycheck, meaning this new law costs $40 per week for those paid bi-weekly. And, that's effective immediately.

"Now that we have a deal and have declared victory, the first paycheck that every American receives this year will probably be less than their last paycheck last year," Mills says.

“[The payroll tax cut] was always meant as temporary provision to stimulate the economy when it was weak” said Joe Rosenberg of the Tax Policy Center. “There was very little political support to see it continue,” he tells the Times.

However, it could have been worse, Rosenberg adds.

And for some Americans it is.

Mills points to other costly landmines, such as the sly tax increase that kicks in around the $300,000 level due to a phase-out that will only allow a percentage of certain deductions.

Then there is also the “surcharge on investment income” that will be used to pay for Obamacare. Mills says everyone with incomes above the $250,000 level will pay nearly 4 percent more for their investment income and “there is no way around it.”

Video: Economist Predicts 'Unthinkable' for 2013

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