Hanging from the Fiscal Cliff

While we’ve avoided the fiscal cliff, doesn’t it still sort of feel like we’re hanging on the edge? There was good news and bad news that came out of the fiscal cliff deal. In the short term, it’s a good thing that we avoided many of the tax increases and spending cuts that could’ve been crippling to our economy. That money is back with the consumers and not rattling around Washington, waiting to be allocated who knows where.

Still, Congress has shown an alarming inability to get things done in a productive and timely fashion. That’s left small business owners with lots of uncertainty about the debt ceiling and the spending cuts that are to come in just two months – it will be upon us much sooner than we think.

It could’ve been worse, but we still took a hit in the form of a two percent increase with the expiration of the payroll tax holiday. Two percent is two percent. It still hurts. My hope is that the new Congress gets its act together so that the pain is minimal and the direction is clear and forward thinking.

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Michael Alter, payroll expert with an MBA from Harvard Business School, is a nationally recognized spokesperson providing thought-leadership and sensible advice to help accounting and payroll professionals build deeper more profitable relationships with clients. Alter, President of SurePayroll, writes the Trade Secrets column on INC.com and is frequently published in Bloomberg TV, the Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur Magazine.

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