Latinos and the cliff

If the negotiations in Washington about the so-called fiscal cliff fail, and there is no balanced solution to prevent drastic automatic cuts and tax hikes on the middle class, there is a real danger that the bulk of the country’s working class will be the most adversely affected by an economy that is barely starting to recover.

The Republicans are assuming an intransigent position, refusing to impose any tax hike on the wealthiest class. They apparently did not get the memo that their economic platform lost the recent election and the majority of Americans want fair solutions, so the burden is not only shouldered by middle-class families.

The U.S. Latino population will be among the most affected if t his issue is not resolved. A Tax Policy Center estimate shows that if we reach the fiscal cliff without an agreement that allows for higher revenues for the nation, this would lead to an average tax increase of $1,423 per year for working-class couples earning between $20,000 and $30,000. For example, among the middle class tax credits to be eliminated is the per child tax credit, which helps Latino families in particular.

The “fiscal cliff” does not only involve defense cuts. It would also include automatic funding cuts for state safety net programs, among them funds for education, health care, housing, work training and others that would directly affect the working class and mainly Latinos.

The best option is a balanced solution that combines new taxes for high income earners —those who benefited the most from the economy and even the recovery.

Impremedia/La Opinión