by ZACHARY A. GOLDFARB, The Washington Post

This is what the other side of the “fiscal cliff” looks like.

If President Obama and Congress fail to reach a deal to avoid hundreds of billions of dollars of tax hikes and federal spending cuts, many Americans will feel the pain with less money in their paychecks in the first week of the New Year.

On Friday, Jan. 4, middle-class Americans who get paid that day would see take-home pay decline by an average of about $25, according to calculations based on data from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. That’s the effect of higher taxes on just under one week of pay in a bimonthly check. In wealthy areas such as Washington, the average tax hike for someone earning more than $100,000 would be roughly $130, reflecting higher taxes on nearly one week of pay.

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