Legislators pulled the nation away from the so-called “fiscal cliff” and inked a budget deal on the first day of the New Year. As part of the agreement, Congress opted to remove the 2 percent payroll tax cut. The removal of the cut means that 77 percent of U.S. households will see higher taxes this year, according to the Tax Policy Center. In addition, the deal expands unemployment benefits. Lawmakers also voted to continue the tax-favored status of educational assistance and mass-transit expenses.