Some political experts believe the United States will go over the fiscal cliff, and now the best solution is to hope for a deal by early January. The longer the wait, the more likely it is that taxes will jump an average of $2,400 for families making between $50,000 and $75,000 per year.
The possibility of those smaller paychecks is weighing heavily on the minds of many average citizens. We found Phil Sanderson reading a book on his iPad in a coffee shop in Prattville, a far better story he says than the one playing out in Washington.
"It just seems like the politicians are more interested in longevity than doing what's right by the country," said Sanderson.
By doing what's right Sanderson is referring to the so-called 'fiscal cliff.' If President Barack Obama and Congress can't reach a deal, then automatic spending cuts and tax hikes would take effect immediately. The spending cuts would be deep; more than one trillion dollars over a ten year period, affecting defense and social programs.
It's the uncertainty of it all that bothers Prattville businessman Dick Dorsey who owns a used car dealership. Without an agreement Dorsey wonders whether people will have the confidence to spend money on items such as an automobile.
"If they feel like they're going to be laid off then they're not going to spend," said Dorsey.
At this point both sides in Washington are going in opposite directions. There are some who believe allowing the fiscal cliff to occur might actually be a good thing, specifically in the area of spending cuts.
Millbrook Mayor Al Kelley disagrees. "I'm all for spending cuts but that would be too much and damage the economy. I think reaching a deal would be better," said Mayor Kelley.
Throughout this controversy there is hope that both sides can come together. If not before next week then shortly after the new year begins.
"It's astounding to me they can't reach an agreement," said Sanderson.
For now Sanderson has no idea how his novel will end. The rest of America wonders the same thing about the unfolding story in D.C.
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