Now, he's changing his mind. "I will not go back into the work force if taxes are to go up on the middle class," he says. So much of the money he would make would go to taxes that it wouldn't be worth working. "These tax increases would take away from our income drastically."
'I'm being penalized for wealth'
It's not just members of the middle class who are nervous about what lies ahead.
Brian Chandler, a 34-year-old in Marietta, Georgia, says he's among those Americans with incomes over $250,000 whose taxes would go up under Obama's plan.
"I am technically considered 'rich,'" says Chandler. "I did this through hard work, long hours, taking on work that clearly wasn't my responsibility, networking, etc. Now it sort of feels like I'm being penalized for that, in higher taxes, because of others' lack of financial responsibility."
"I am concerned about the reduction of take-home income. I am also concerned taxing those above $250,000 a year may counter innovation and prevent some from working as hard as they do to earn that amount of money."
He and his wife have a son, and their daughter is due this month. They need more space. But he's no longer looking for a bigger home. "I'm watching how it will all play out."
In support of 'cliff' diving
While polls show it to be a minority, there is a contingent of Americans who want the country to go off the fiscal cliff.
"It will help because it will finally reduce the deficit with substance -- not just words," says Valerie Stayskal of Addison, Illinois. It will be painful for several years, but best in the long term, the mother of three and soon-to-be grandmother of twins argues.
"I want my kids and their kids to have a good life in a country that is stable and flourishing. I want them to have opportunity. If we don't dig deep into the deficit, they are made to be burdened with this debt."
Patrick Drake, of Norcross, Georgia, offers another upside. All the talk about the fiscal cliff "is very necessary for citizens and representatives to inform and engage," he says.
"Definitely, I have never been a financially responsible individual until I began paying attention to the fiscal cliff discussions and the correlation to my personal finances."
'It's all hype!'
But some others say they're sick of all the talk -- which, they believe, will ultimately prove to be another example of the government scaring the public about something drastic that does not end up happening.
"This is government hype to the umpteenth degree," AnnMarie Blodgett wrote in our Facebook discussion. "Everything gets a name these days. None of it matters."
"I want to ban the phrase 'fiscal cliff,'" added Monica Rodriguez. "There are other things happening in the world."
But Dolores Casillas, who weighed in on Twitter, said she is very concerned about what may lie ahead.
The 27-year-old is out of work and has already cut back expenses.
"I was on a phone contract but since it is too expensive now I go prepaid. I always look for deals on everything and I bargain," she says.