Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Fiscal Cliff will be a scary fall for Floridians

In Uncategorized on December 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Rumors have surfaced from the nation’s capital that a deal on the “Fiscal Cliff” is a “virtual impossibility” before the January 2nd deadline.

If you haven’t heard, the “fiscal cliff” is a combination of massive budget cuts and tax increases, created by the Debt Supercommittee last year, during the debt ceiling negotiations (we’ve also hit that same debt ceiling again by the way). These triggers were put in place to force us to overcome political gridlock and find more permanent solutions to reduce the deficit. We’re talking tax increases for all Americans and massive cuts to the national budget, with defense spending taking the majority of the damage. One official called it a “Self-Amputation” for the industry.

It’s financial crash dieting. Oh, you’ll reduce the deficit but it’s going to be unhealthy and painful (especially on Wall St.).

What about here in Florida? How will Washington’s failure to reach a compromise affect us here in the Sunshine State?

We all know tourism is our main industry here, we’re the biggest vacation destination on the planet. As the business world adjusts to the tax increases, they’ll start laying off workers. These layoffs will take place all over the country and families that had planned on using their savings to go see Mickey at the Magic Kingdom, or visit Harry Potter at Universal Studios, will have to be used to fill the gap between jobs.

This could also endanger the chances of repeating our Tourist Tax windfall from a couple of months back, that are helping to renovate the Citrus Bowl and other venues. This should make Mayors Buddy Dyer and Teresa Jacobs a little nervous. Dyer was part of the Mayoral delegation that spoke to President Obama earlier this month.

All of know someone who currently, or at some point worked for defense contractors like Lockheed Martin or Northrop Grunman right? Each of those companies have already laid off thousands over the last few years but, going over the cliff will open the flood gates. Many more skilled, educated workers could join the unemployed. These operations are all over the state, and could cause a mass migration of talent to leave and go to Texas where the recession hasn’t been as harsh.

What about you and me? What about our neighbors?

Well, all of our taxes are going up. It could be anywhere between 2400 to 3600 individually. It will also cause layoffs at the community level. Businesses in Orlando are especially quick to reduce the workforce, after tax hikes or large policy changes, that affect the bottom line. An example are the layoffs at Orlando Health caused by changes being implemented with the President’s Health Care plan.

There is a strong possibility you’ll see more of those kind of “adjustments” by regional businesses to stabilize their bottom line.

This is scary stuff. That’s why we’re calling it a cliff, and for Floridians like you and I, already dealing with unemployment higher than the national average, the fall will be much more frightening.

There could be some dark days for tourism if we go over the fiscal cliff

There could be some dark days for tourism if we go over the fiscal cliff

  1. This is the government Floridians voted for, Obama and Nelson both won state wide. Last November Americans across this country voted to tell government that we wanted things to stay the same they have been the last 4 years, status quo.

    1. No national budget has been voted on in the Senate for the last 3 years and there is no sign of a budget for the 4th year in a row.

    2. Tax rates kept getting extended but not made permanent, so we get this “cliff” every 2 years.

    3. Record level of deficit spending each of the last 4 years that lead to record levels of interest payments, which leads to less money available for needed programs or tax relief.

    This is the government the majority voted for. Elections have consequences.

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