Fiscal cliff deal


A.J. Balukoff, Democrat candidate for governor, and a couple of national health care policy analysts disagree on the impact expanding Medicaid would have on emergency room visits.

The headline in the Idaho Press-Tribune on Jan 2. leaves a little to be desired. “Cliff avoided: Congress staves off tax hikes.” That’s kind of true, but not entirely. In fact, the article, and headline, and others like it across the state and country, incorrectly suggest that most Americans will see their taxes go down or that they won’t be subject to a tax hike. In fact, most Americans will experience just the opposite, regardless of how affluent they are. A payroll tax increase is on its way because a temporary reduction in Social Security taxes is expiring. Americans earning as little as $20,000 can expect to see a $297 decrease in their annual earnings. Those earning up to $75,000 will see taxes rise by $822. In short, Congress may have staved off some tax increases. But to suggest that tax increases have been halted entirely, is interesting but not true.

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