That Fiscal Cliff Deal Is Going To Cost Florida Billions; Here's How Much More You'll Pay

ILeana_RosLehtinen3.jpg (JPEG Image, 302x239 pixels).jpg
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, one of four Florida Republicans to vote for the House's fiscal cliff compromise.
Chances are, when you heard that the GOP-controlled House had finally relented on a deal that kept the nation from plunging Wile E. Coyote-style off a fiscal cliff, you popped a little mental champagne. But even though the compromise prevents huge tax increases and keeps unemployment benefits in place, analysts this morning say it's also going to cost Floridians billions through a payroll tax increase.

The four Florida Republicans who voted for the bill -- including Miami's Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart -- could be in for a rough ride from party loyalists over that fact.

The compromise deal left in place tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush, but it didn't keep a payroll tax deduction passed back in 2010. The rate will rise from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent starting this month.

The result? About 7.1 million Florida households will take home less on every paycheck; if you make $30,000, you'll chip in an extra $50 a month, while a low six-figure income means nearly $200 more headed to Uncle Sam this year, CNN calculates.

Want to know how much you'll pay? Pop your income into this calculator on the Wall Street Journal's news blog.

Statewide in Florida, that translates to about $6.5 billion lost into the federal coffers, the Miami Herald reports.

"The net effect is it's going to be a drag on growth,'' Sean Snaith, director of UCF's Institute for Economic Competitiveness, tells the Herald.

Another possible effect: An easy line of attack for Tea Party challengers to attack Republicans who backed the deal.

Florida had five GOPers in the House back the deal -- Bill Young, Vern Buchanan, Ander Crenshaw and our own Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen. Up in Jacksonville, the Tea Party has already taken a swipe at Crenshaw, accusing him of "abandoning conservative principles."

Those Republicans, of course, point out that the deal was pretty sweet for conservatives; it enshrines the tax cuts they fought so hard for under Bush.

"While this bill has its flaws, it immediately and permanently cuts taxes on 98 percent of the American people," Diaz-Balart says in a statement.

It also kept the nation from plunging into another recession -- at least until next month, when Republicans promise to push Obama yet again, this time on the nation's debt ceiling.

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Anyelina Pérez
Anyelina Pérez

Only in America could the rich people be accused of not paying their "fair share" by people who don't pay any income taxes at all.

Adrian Rivera
Adrian Rivera

Payroll taxes increase two percent beginning this month.

Steve Klare
Steve Klare

two ironies as I see it. the SS tax goes back to origin amount it should have stayed at all along so this really is not a tax increase is it? . The second Now those of you who voted for higher taxes on the rich , are complaining cause you are having to pay what you we supposed to pay all along.......You can't have your cake and eat it to. If you got skin in the game, it hurts more doesn't it????

Soror Lourdes Metz
Soror Lourdes Metz

I believe Congress voted to "raise their own salaries" when there are so many homeless and jobless in America. Really? We should fire Congress and hire those homeless and jobless and see how quick our country will get in track.

Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

1 [fair] adjective,
a : marked
by impartiality and honesty : free from self-interest, prejudice, or

Flat Tax now.


They should have let the tax cuts expire for those rich people making $50k or more and kept it for those of us making minimum wage with 3 kids to feed.  Damn rich people.

"It also kept the national from plunging into another recession -- at least until next month, when Republicans promise to push Obama yet again, this time on the nation's debt ceiling."

How dare they challenge Obama on this!  Everyone knows the smart thing to do when your credit cards are maxed out is to keep opening new lines of credit.

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