Fiscal cliff has Michiana consequences

If today is New Year’s Eve, then yesterday must have been fiscal cliff eve.

“Well, Sunday afternoon, myself and some of my labor colleagues went to visit a Congressman Donnelly staffer,” said Tony Flora with the Indiana AFL-CIO.

Since Congressman Joe Donnelly is moving from the U.S. House to the Senate, he has closed his South Bend office.

That means Flora had to make special arrangements to see that his fiscal cliff petitions reached his congressman.

“The point of the petition was, raise the taxes on the top two percent, it’s about time that we restructure our taxes in our country,” said Flora.

Tax talk has dominated the debate. If Congress does nothing, the average family with an income between $40,000 and $65,000 will pay about 4.4 percent more or $2,000 additional tax dollars in 2013, according to the Tax Policy Center.

But the taxpayer isn’t the only one who stands to get hurt.

“There are at least 40,000 if I remember correctly, 40,000 people in the State of Indiana alone, who on Wednesday morning, their unemployment benefits end suddenly, dramatically, in an economy in which there is still nearly eight percent unemployment in this state,” said Flora.

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