Expert says U.S. will fall off fiscal cliff

By Stacy

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The term "fiscal cliff" has riled Americans.

"I think the American public should really act up against this," Charleston resident Jerry Paolella said.

The so-called cliff refers to the changes set to start Jan. 1 after Bush-era tax cuts expire.

"The biggest pinch will be on folks making below $70,000 a year. That bracket will go from 10 to 15 percent," financial adviser Nick Pavia said.

Pavia said other income brackets will be affected as well. Taxes for those making more than $70,000 will increase by two to three percent.

"A lot of people will think it's just going to be wealthy folks that are going to feel the pinch. It's going to be everybody. It's really important for Congress and the President to get together and get something done," Pavia said.

But Congress and the President haven't come to an agreement and time is running out.

"I think the Democrats and Republicans really have to get their act together. It's terrible what's going on. I'm disgusted with politics. They're not doing their job," Paolella said.

"They better get back to business in Washington is all I have to say," Said Marti Boone, another Charleston resident.

Pavia didn't forecast any developments before the new year, but he said he wasn't panicking.

"Long term, it won't be that big of a deal. We used to pay these tax rates before, pre-2003," he said.

No matter what happens, he said the confusion will, and is already, affecting the economy. Many Americans fear the worst.

"Things look good and we're coming out of the previous recession. We should be getting back on track. I think this is only going to set us back," Paolella said.

He says higher taxes are not what the country needs right now.