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    Posted January 4, 2013 by
    Farmersburg, Indiana
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    More Americans Disapprove Than Approve Partial Fiscal Cliff Deal


    Gallup is out with a new poll and it doesn't look like anyone is really happy with  the post-cliff machinations worked out in Congress. According to the  poll, 45% of responders were not favorable of the compromise while 43%  approved. Republicans and independents were mostly disinclined to the  legislation, now law, which made the Bush/Obama tax rates permanent for  those making less than $400,000 per year individually or $450,000 per  year as a couple.

    The Gallup numbers reveal:

    12% of those polled had no opinion

    27% of Republicans approved while 65% disapproved

    39% of independents approved with 46% disapproving

    With Democrats 67% approved and only 23% disapproved

    Looking at the breakdown between ideologies:

    Moderates 52% approved and 34% disapproved

    Conservatives 28% approved, but 62% disapproved

    Liberals strongly approved 66% with only 27% disapproving

    None of the main characters in the entire showdown came out looking very good in this latest battle.

    President Barack Obama 46% approved 48% disapproved

    Vice President Joe Biden 40% approved 42% disapproved

    House Speaker John Boehner 31% approved 50% disapproved

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid 27% approved 48% disapproved

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell 28% approved 46% disapproved

    Republican Congressional Leaders 25% approved 67% disapproved

    Democratic Congressional Leaders 34% approved 55% disapproved

    While  there was a short-lived sigh of relief, the nation seems to reflect the  same thing I am feeling in the Cornfield - it was too little, too late.  The markets are already back to uncertainty. Many small businesses are  continuing to hold off hiring and expansion in spite of modest gains in  job creation in December.

    The  fact that everyone who draws a paycheck got hit with a tax increase  with the expiration of the payroll tax cut is starting to sink in. The  looming battles over the debt ceiling and spending cuts, including  entitlement reform, are already drawing lines in the sand and stakes are being driven into the political ground. The uncertainty over what to do  about sequestration, those mandated automatic across the board cuts, is  keeping the economic weather cloudy and foggy.

    There  were also tax changes that will affect almost everyone which are now  coming to light, including the payroll tax cut expiration. In addition  to the tax rate rising from 35% to 39.6% for those high earners over  $400,000, there were caps put on deductions for those making $250,000  individually or couples earning $300,000 which means an increase in  taxes. Estate tax rates jumped from 35% to 40%. Tax on stock returns  went from 15% to 20%, which includes dividends and capital gains. Thanks  to the Affordable Care Act a new tax of 3.8% added on for income  earners as well starting this year.

    On  the good side the alternative minimum tax is now permanently tied to  inflation. This affects up to 30 million taxpayers. Extended were the  child earned income and college tuition tax credit for another 5 years.  Extended unemployment benefits were re-upped for another year as well.  It is now going to be easier to roll over a 401(k) into a Roth  Individual Retirement Account.

    From the Cornfield, I am sure as time rolls on more and more Americans  may begin to wonder if passage of the partial fiscal cliff deal was the  wisest move to make. You would think that with over 500 days to get  something done on a mess made by Congress, some forethought, planning  and actual work for the people could have been accomplished.

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