zaterdag 17 november 2012

Fiscal Cliff: Savings Rate to go into Negative Territory

The fiscal cliff which is right in front of us will arrive on January 1st, 2013. The most important change will be the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Each citizen of the U.S. will have a tax hike starting next year. The result will be a decline in savings rate. Tax rate can be said to affect the savings inversely both in the personal and corporate levels. It means that in the cases when the tax rate increases, the rate of savings may fall while with decrease in the tax rate, the savings may increase.

Overall, the personal income tax rate will go up 3% with the exception of the lowest and highest income earners who will have a whopping 5% tax increase. This tax increase will therefore reduce the disposable income of each and every person and business in the U.S.

So what does this mean in simple numbers? If I earn 3000 dollars and I am taxed 33%, I will have 2000 dollars of disposable income. If I save only 3% of my disposable income (see chart 1). I am saving 60 dollars. If now the taxes on my personal income go up 3%, I will need to hand over 90 dollars to the government. My disposable income will be 1910 dollars. This means I'm going underwater: 60-90 = -30.

Chart 1: Personal Savings Rate
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