Northern Nevadans React to Approaching Fiscal Cliff
People are talking about the so-called "fiscal cliff." That's the phrase being used to describe what could happen, unless lawmakers in Washington D.C. act before January first. Without a deficit-cutting agreement from Congress and President Obama, the Bush-era tax cuts will expire and one-point-two trillion dollars in automatic spending cuts will go into effect. The Congressional Budget Office says that could result in a rise in unemployment and could trigger a new recession.
President Obama says any deal must include a tax increase on wealthy Americans but most Republicans are against it. President Obama and Democrats want to let the Bush-era tax rates for families making $250,000 or more expire at the end of the year. Republicans suggest closing tax loopholes and eliminating some deductions.
President Obama is scheduled to meet with Democratic and Republican leaders from Congress on Friday.
We wanted to know if the fiscal cliff is on the minds of people here in Northern Nevada. Most people we talked to certainly know about the fiscal cliff, but they differ in who they blame, and how they view the outcome. Here are some of their responses:
Bob Lopez of Donner Springs said, "I think it'll be a tragedy if they don't do something about it."
Shelia Kelly of Reno said, "I expect some kind of compromise. I expect some kind of a deal."
Simon Marx said, "I do know what it is and I am worried about it. I think it has to be fixed and it will be fixed with a whole lot of kicking and screaming on both sides. It'll be done."
Some people are still burned out from the election, and don't want to think about cliffs or taxes.
Angela Dufour of Reno told us she doesn't think about it. "I stay away from a lot of those subjects these days," she said.
Tony Graham of Incline is worried about the fiscal cliff. "If it doesn't get resolved, costs are going to go up and taxes are obviously going to change, so yes I am worried about it," said Graham.
Most people we talked with don't think they can control the outcome. Simon Marx says "All the machinations are going on over in Washington and I don't think we'll really understand the whole effect of it for a couple of years."
Lynda Mellows of Reno hopes for the best. "The main thing is we have to be optimistic and I'm really praying that we can work together. We want to as a society, but I'm not sure."
We asked Tony Graham if there's anything he feels he can do. "Me personally? Work harder and make more taxes for them," he answered.
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