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Editorial: An expensive 'fiscal cliff' for New Yorkers

The U.S. Capitol building. (Nov. 19, 2011)

The U.S. Capitol building. (Nov. 19, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

New Yorkers will be rocked by a $5,452 average federal income tax hike next year unless Congress, which has proved distressingly adept at doing nothing, does something. The Bush tax cuts are set to end at the end of the year and there's no fix in place to contain the spread of the alternative minimum tax in 2013. To spare taxpayers that pain, Congress should reform the onerous federal income tax code by lowering rates and eliminating deductions in ways that will raise some revenue to help pull the budget out of the red. Unless lawmakers make a deficit-reduction deal, $1.2 trillion in meat-axe spending cuts will be triggered then, too. Together the tax hikes and spending cuts would drive the nation off a fiscal cliff, likely plunging the economy into recession. Petrified partisan politics is no longer an option.