WASHINGTON, D.C.--There is a growing belief that Congress will not reach a deal to avoid going off the "Fiscal Cliff". With the deadline just one week away, you stand to lose if they cannot work out a deal.
"If we allow that to happen, it will be the most colassal, consequential act of Congressional irresponsibility in a long time," said Sen. Joe Leiberman (I-Conn.).
Some of the consequences for you will include a tax increase and the possible loss, in time, of over 11,000 Mississippi defense jobs as part of military sequestration. That's a proposal to cut more than a half-trillion dollars from the overall defense budget, which would undoubtedly affect contractors and military personnel employed in places like Meridian, Columbus and Biloxi.
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) wrote in a column last week about some of the consequences he perceived being possible.
"According to the Heritage Foundation, taxes would rise by an average of nearly $2,200 in our state next year," he said. "Families would see the child tax credit drop from $1,000 per child to $500, and homeowners would lose important tax deductions. In addition to tax hikes, cuts to defense spending threaten more than 11,000 Mississippi jobs."
To try and keep that from happening, the U.S. House of Representatives last week passed a measure that would trim from other places, rather than the military budget, which many analysts say would at the very least change the way our military functions and strategizes.
"The Spending Reduction Act identified waste, fraud and abuse across the federal government in order to replace $78 billion of across-the-board cuts that will take place in January unless action is taken. It also included an additional $242 billion in cuts. The House passed a reconciliation bill earlier in the year that took similar measures to avert the defense sequester," read a news release from U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.).
The bill is not likely to see much action in the Democrat-controled Senate.
The Senate is set to return to begin discussions on the "Fiscal Cliff" again Dec. 27. Meanwhile, Rep. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is calling on the House to take up the matter again very soon, since it was "Plan B" by Speaker John Boehner that brought the discussions on the House side to a standstill when the plan got no support from his fellow Conservatives.
"Speaker Boehner and the House of Representatives have to come back to Washington," she said.
Some Conservatives now believe a deal is even further away, though, because the President does not want to negotiate. He has been adament that he will accept no deal that does not raise taxes on the "rich". Obama has rejected proposals from Boehner that would raise taxes on only the highest paid taxpayers.