A 'fiscal cliff' calendar if Washington doesn't reach budget deal

Taxpayers may be in for some real pain in coming months

ORLANDO, Fla. - Even if leaders in Washington don't reach a "fiscal cliff" budget deal, the economy won't take an immediate nose dive.

Taxpayers, however, could be in for some real pain in the coming months.

Here's the Local 6 Unofficial Fiscal Cliff Date Book:

  • Jan 1: Tax hike for all working American.
  • Jan 2: Stock market re-opens, Dow likely plunges.
  • Jan 14/15: First bi-weekly paychecks of the year are issued.  Pay is at least two percent less because the payroll tax cut expired, a $1500 hit to the average earner per year.  Checks shrink even more (between $92 and $142 less per worker per paycheck) because the Bush-era tax cuts expire as well.
  • Jan-Feb: Billions in cuts to federal spending result in layoffs at federal agencies.  TSA workers, for example, may get furloughed.  Defense spending at the Pentagon takes a huge hit.  The stock market continues to struggle.
  • Early Feb: If there's no deal, the U.S. is looking at a crisis, as the economy grinds to a crawl.
  • March: The U.S. could default on its debt obligation unless the debt ceiling is raised.  A default would lead to a downgrade of U.S. debt, a nightmare for world markets and a possible global financial panic.  The economy look something like the 2008 recession, or worse.

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