Tax hike coming with or without deal

December 31, 2012

Americans are all but certain to face a broad hike in taxes on Tuesday for the first time in at least two decades, ending a prolonged period of declining taxation that has become a defining characteristic of the American economy.

Regardless of whether President Obama and Congress reach an agreement to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” many Americans will see a higher tax bill because of the expiration of the payroll tax cut, which was enacted in 2011 as a temporary measure to boost economic growth. The tax holiday was preceded by a similar temporary cut in 2009 and 2010.

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Zachary A. Goldfarb is policy editor at The Washington Post.
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