With just over two weeks before the so-called fiscal cliff, a stalemate in negotiations between Republicans and Democrats could mean an $11-billion reduction in the state budget over the next two years, more than 200,000 jobs lost, and an average tax increase of $2,200 for a family of four in California, according to the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office.
The Epoch Times asked Bay Area locals and visitors what their thoughts were on the possible personal impacts of falling off the fiscal cliff.
Dale Heart, 49, owner of design company, Seattle
“I don’t think it will have a huge impact on me personally. But I am concerned. … There’s a lot of fear, but I can’t tell if that’s grounded or legitimate. In a way I almost I feel like we should just go over it, because we’ve elected all these people to run our government and figure this out, and it doesn’t seem as if they’ve been able to do it. I have a bunch of employees; if I hired people to do things that they weren’t doing, I would have to fire them, they wouldn’t be good at their job.”
Jacob Acosta, 26, retail, East Bay
“I guess I would have to say ‘no.’ I haven’t really experienced anything like that so far in my life, so I don’t know what I could expect. I don’t know particularly what to be worried about.”
Susan Phillipps, 73, retired, Oakland
“I think a lot of people are going to lose an enormous amount of money. And I think that’s a very bad thing. And there are people that are on unemployment now that are not going to get the money, and it’s going to create an absolute disaster.”
Kyle Feig, 27, sales/communications, Los Angeles
“I particularly, myself, am not very concerned. I feel like … it’s very serious, but by the same token, it’s aimed at certain parts of the working population, the cuts and things like that. So far all the different changes that they make usually don’t affect me. … They’ll figure out a way to come to some agreement anyway, generally speaking.”
Bill Jaros, 31, Forest Service, Crescent City
“Of course I am worried about it. I work for the federal government. We already took a pay freeze for three years … if they don’t pass it, they’re trying to cut our pay again and not give us a pay raise, with the cost of living going up. So yeah, it’s scary. And hopefully they do come to a conclusion or work this out.”
Courtney Henry, 18, student, San Francisco
“Considering I’m a college freshman who has not started working yet, I don’t know how to feel about it. Maybe when I get a little older I might have an opinion for you. But I’m just trying to get done with finals.”
Brian Gray, 37, technician, San Leandro
“Not really. It’s probably not going to change anything. … People are going to find out a way out of the taxes if they need to. People are going to pay the taxes if they need to. It’s probably just not going to be a big deal.”
Apichate Taninratapat, 27, East Bay, Filmmaker
“I’m not staying here for my whole life, you know what I mean? I’m from Thailand. So maybe I have a problem with my country a bit because my country’s economy [is] based on the United States. So a lot of people who work in the stock market keep an eye on Obama and the United States. But it’s not a big deal for me.”
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