2010: The highest-earners in America are currently taxed at 35 percent. In 2010, this rate applied to individuals earning more than $373,650.
2011: If Congress allows the Bush tax cuts to expire, the tax rate for the highest-earning Americans will move up to 39.6 percent next year. All lower brackets will also move to pre-Bush era levels. This means that for middle-income Americans, for example, an individual earning roughly $80,000 a year, the tax rate will rise from 25 percent to 28 percent.
What Could Happen: Democrats want to extend the tax breaks only to those making less than $250,000 a year, while Republicans insist that the tax cuts be extended for everyone.