JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --Your first paycheck in 2013 could have significant changes depending on what happens or doesn't happen by the Fiscal Cliff deadline.
Part of the nation's working class started preparing for a fiscal cliff fail months ago...
"We don't make any large purchases without, unless it's something we absolutely need, we'll keep an appliance until it absolutely can't work anymore," says a visitor at The Jacksonville Landing who chose not to give her name.
And others are making plans to change their spending habits - they just don't know in what capacity.
"I don't know yet, guess I need to start looking at that, I was really thinking they'd get something figured out," says David Barnes, a tourist at the Landing from Houston.
As the clock ticks down to the deadline in Capitol Hill, Americans are also getting closer to seeing smaller paychecks if a fiscal cliff compromise fails to pass.
"One of the things people are going to see immediately with the first paycheck that they see is about a two-percent change in their withholding taxes or in their FICA taxes that they are going to see. The FICA rate is going to go from 4.2 to 6.2 percent," says Marshall Gunn, a certified public accountant, in a phone interview.
That means tax increases would affect everyone. CNN money reports that people who make less than $20,000 a year would have to pay an average increase of $590 in taxes, middle income workers making $40,000 - $64,000 a year could see an increase of almost two-thousand dollars taken out of their checks, and those earning more than $108,000 will be paying up to $13,000 more in taxes.
"Result of that is that people will cut back on discretionary spending, they'll still pay the mortgage, pay the electric bill, pay the phone bill, but when it comes to the dining out, the little extras of life that they enjoy that's where the dollars are going to get trimmed," Gunn said.
And holding back on large purchases and the extras is what economists feel will slowly send the country into another recession. Some, like Stevens Hollister in town for the Gator Bowl from Mississippi says he isn't making any changes until he has to.
"Nobody knows anything about what you're going to do," Hollister said. "You don't know how bad it's going to be or if it's going to be bad at all."
The deadline for the fiscal cliff to pass is Monday, December 31st at Midnight.
First Coast News