Send taxpayers to their fiscal doom in Slate's interactive CLIFF
If Democrats and Republicans in Congress don’t come up with a tax plan they can both swallow, the U.S. will plummet over the “fiscal cliff,” meaning that taxpayers will be slammed with a series of automatic tax hikes and tax credit reductions and the U.S. could slip into another recession. The “fiscal cliff” metaphor doesn’t exactly reflect the situation and may be intentionally alarmist, but alternatives, such as “fiscal slope” and “fiscal garden,” seem more likely to draw laughter than serious consideration.
To stick with the metaphor, then: Some taxpayers will fall farther than others. In the interactive below, select one of six family types. Then, choose from among five income levels representing different income percentiles of people of that family type, and see how far a typical taxpayer of that family type and income level would fall, according to the Tax Policy Center’s tax calculator. The red and blue lines show the tax hike that taxpayer would experience if Congress passes the Republican or Democratic tax plans, respectively.