The massive bi-partisan tax package preventing a big tax hike for millions of Americans is now official.
The measure extends tax cuts for families at every level, and the Wall Street Journal helped show just what that means for the typical American family:
-for one: the child tax credit will remain in place, giving the typical single mom making about $25,000 with two kids about $2,000. And her overall income tax rebates would go from just over a $1,000 to nearly $4,000.
-Payroll taxes for Social Security will go to 4.2% from 6.2%, saving a single worker making about $50,000 more than $1,600 on next year's tax bill.
-The alternative minimum tax has also been patched; the AMT was originally a way to make sure the higher-income workers paid all their taxes, the patch saves 21 million Americans. For example: a married couple with two kids in the $300,000 salary range will now have to pay more than $12,000 or less in taxes.
-Retired couples will also see their taxes go down about $5,000--that's huge for fixed income Americans.
There's also the death tax, which will no longer revert to 55% but go to 35% for estates worth $5 million or more--that's a third less than the number of estates taxed in 2009.
But with every piece of legislation, there are winners and there are losers, and the tax cut extension is no exception.
The Wall Street Journal points out some of the downsides, which already have some worried this bill adds too much to an already ballooning deficit.
Since the deal was announced nearly two weeks ago, there have been big selloffs in the Treasury bond market. And Moody's Rating Agency has threatened to cut the U.S.’s ‘AAA’ rating now that the bill is signed.
The bill doesn't replace the making-work-pay income tax credit - which impacts more than 50 million low-income families. And although the bill does extend unemployment benefits - some of the "99ers"- whose benefits have already expired won't see any more help.
Like I said, you can't please everybody! There are definitely parts of this bill I would rather have not seen included, but that's what happens when you compromise.
And hopefully that will be a word we hear a lot about come the new Congress.
Gerri Willis is the host of "The Willis Report" (5PM/ET), a primetime program that covers the leading financial and political stories of the day and their impact on consumers. Click here to see more from Gerri Willis.