Fiscal Cliff Averted: 6 Things You Don't Have to Worry About Anymore

Fiscal Cliff
Fiscal Cliff

After months of lead-up, America finally went over the fiscal cliff -- for about 34 hours. But if you didn't notice the plague of miseries that was predicted after the great tumble, don't be surprised: The country had barely taken its lemming-like dive before Congress and President Obama hammered out a bipartisan agreement that simultaneously garnered votes and bitter abuse from both sides of the aisle.

For most Americans, this should be a serious load off their minds. In the majority of households, taxes will go up by less than 1.5 percent -- a fraction of the increase that would have happened if the fiscal cliff dive had been permanent. And even in the country's richest zip codes, things aren't all that bad. Granted, dividend and capital gains taxes rose slightly, as did income tax on workers making more than $400,000.

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The estate tax, also known as the "Paris Hilton tax" due to the way it generously collects so little from the inheritances of the heirs of the super rich, went up from 35% to 40%. But, before you become too sympathetic to the injured squeals issuing from ski slopes and country clubs across the country, remember that the first $5 million of every estate is still tax-exempt, and the new 40 percent rate is still a nice drop from the 55 percent rate that held sway before Dubya started slashing it back in 2001.

With an eye toward the bright side, here's a recap of six things that you no longer need to worry about now that the fiscal cliff has been averted:


Fiscal Cliff Averted: And Here Are the Next 6 Crises to Worry About

Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.