v>Gov. Pat Quinn is not losing sleep over the so-called Fiscal Cliff. In the absence of congressional action, come Jan. 1, income taxes will go up, and extended unemployment benefits will end, but the governor is not worried. “I really feel that we’ll come out in a good place. That includes the state of Illinois. There is a certain amount of uncertainty and unpredictability that affects our own state finances, but I’m confident that President Obama will get us to a better place,” he said.
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The Fiscal Cliff is the creation of a 2011 debt ceiling-deficit reduction deal which allows tax cuts to lapse and triggers automatic spending cuts. It was designed to be severe, so that disagreeing lawmakers would compromise to avoid it, but that has not happened yet. Quinn says the “most calamitous” consequence of the Fiscal Cliff will be the end of the Bush-era tax cuts for regular people. Also to expire, not directly related to the Fiscal Cliff, will be the 2 percentage point cut in the Social Security payroll tax, which for two years has masked the 2 percentage point increase in the state income tax that took effect at the same time, at the start of 2011.
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