Let's not fall off 'fiscal cliff' | Linda Ball | Reporter's Notebook


Every day I read a different article on the ongoing saga of negotiations regarding the forthcoming fiscal cliff, the possibility of increased taxes occurring at the same time as massive spending cuts by the federal government.

I’m really worried about it.

The chills and thrills make for good TV, but if Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C., don’t come up with an acceptable compromise, the country could find itself reeling yet into another recession.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I would like Congress to spare us all the drama, and reach an agreement. The hearts and minds of us regular American folks just can’t take it anymore.

I’ve been middle class most of my life, and I have been more fortunate than many during these last six years of economic turmoil. I have made some wise investments. But it is going to hurt you and me if our taxes go up by even one percent. Folks making $250,000 or more per year really won’t notice. We will.

Congress should agree to extend the Bush tax cuts for income levels below $250,000.

I just had the good fortune to buy a small condo. I love my new place and I am so thrilled that I was able to become a homeowner again after 10 years of renting due to — first, divorce, then the market getting inflated, crazy and overpriced. I didn’t need nor could I afford a McMansion; I just wanted my own place again. I scored on the interest rate and price.

I want others to have that opportunity, too.

I fear everybody will climb back into their shell and close their wallets if tax rates go up, or if we lose certain deductions like the interest on your mortgage loan. I doubt that will happen because the National Association of Realtors will raise bloody hell first.

I disagree with the idea of raising the estate tax. We pay taxes all of our lives — why should we have to pay taxes when we’re dead? If you depart this world leaving assets behind, they should go to your heir, charity or whoever or whatever entity you want a better life for.

There is much to be bantered about until the end of the year. The most likely outcome will be that Congress shrinks the cliff so that some tax rates don’t rise and some of the spending cuts aren’t made.

I just hope both the Dems and the Reps can come together and avoid a dive into murky waters.


Linda Ball is a staff writer for the Issaquah & Sammamish Reporter. She can be contacted at 425-391-0363, ext. 5052 or at lball@issaquahreporter.com.

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