The fiscal cliff is approaching - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

The fiscal cliff is approaching


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Now that White House representatives are back from the holiday break the first thing on their agenda is a budget plan to fight our $16 trillion of national debt.

If they don't do it quick we may be looking at massive tax hikes and spending cuts across the board.

Congressman Tim Walz made a stop in Rochester Monday to talk to constituents about their ideas and concerns. He was at Rochester's Hy-Vee South earlier Monday afternoon and listened to each person who came to talk to him.

"If I'm typical, we're in big trouble, because I'm tightening my belt and tightening my belt trying to save money in every which way we can and yet I see the government constantly spending." "I think It's time they tighten their belt," said Kevin Damgard, who was just one of hundreds who stopped by to voice concerns with Congressman Tim Walz. 

"I'm a middle class working guy," Damgard said. "I'm seeing too many subsidies going to the top and I'm seeing too many subsidies going to the top and I think the middle class is about to collapse."

The looming fiscal cliff dominated the conversation, as December 31, the expiration date for our current tax cuts, quickly approaches.

"Hard lines in the sand on dates are what people live by," Walz said. "They have to pay bills on time, they have to go to work on time. The idea that we'll just kick it a little further down the road I don't want to have that be an option."

The comments were coming at Congressman Walz from all sides.

"The farmers have gotten subsidies to get this produce here, then I'm standing in the grocery store and I see someone paying with an EBT card, " Damgard said. "I feel like I'm paying twice because the food has to stay cold and the guy paying with the EBT card isn't paying to keep the lights on and food cold."

President Barack Obama wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest one percent of Americans but Republicans said that would only harm job creation. To prevent the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts enacted in the Budget Control Act of 2011.

The two sides must both agree to a plan that will increase revenues and cut spending.

"What we're going to have to do is allow the rates on $250,000 and above for families to go back up, now keep in mind that's only on the dollars past $250,000 so that closes a revenue gap of $1.6 trillion so you get about $4 trillion dollars in deficit reductions," Walz said.

If representatives in Washington don't agree on a plan or act before the new year, there's a possibility of $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts spread across all agencies and all taxpayers.

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