NC would fall hard off 'Fiscal Cliff'

December 28, 2012 1:36:15 PM PST
With Congressional Republicans and President Obama seemingly far apart on any deal to avert the so-called Fiscal Cliff, what would it mean for North Carolina if we went over it?

Experts told ABC11 Friday that it could have a severe impact here.

In the first three months, an estimated 40,000 people in the state would lose their jobs.

Taxes on about 90 percent of residents would go up by a lot. The average family would pay about $2,000 more.

The reason it will happen so fast - at least, according to some economists - is because it's all happening at once. Payroll taxes go up, income taxes go up, and at the same time, we'll see drastic cuts in federal spending.  

With the exception of Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, every program and department will see a 10-percent cut in funding.

That's military, social services, parks, you name it. Everything that gets federal money will start getting 10 percent less - including non-profits and charities.

And folks who run some of the programs around Raleigh are as worried as any about what the cliff could mean for their clients and their funding.

"It's absolutely frightening.  I can't really get my mind around all of it to be honest with you, and I'm afraid of the things that we don't see, the way that kind of trickledown effect will affect everyone.  Individuals, for myself, as well as the people we serve, it's gonna be an incredible cliff and if we don't do something about it - right now," Dennis Parnell with The Healing Place.

If there's any good news here, it's that while we technically fall off the cliff on the first of the year, lawmakers could retroactively fix things. If they did it quickly enough, we might not feel "the fall" at all.

But of course, the hope is that's not necessary, and that lawmakers get a deal done before the end of the year.

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