WTVA Reporter Caleb Story contributed to this report
WASHINGTON, D.C.--The average Mississippi family will see a hike in the dollar amount taken from your paycheck if we go over the "Fiscal Cliff". A deal is looking less likely and the prediction Thursday from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) was that there will likely be no deal before the Jan. 1 deadline.
The Senate was back in session Thursday, with pressure from House Republicans to come up with a plan that could be voted on. Before going back to Washington, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) spoke with WTVA-TV in Tupelo.
"Every Mississippian that pays income tax would see a pretty hefty tax increase come the first of the year if we go over the fiscal cliff," said Wicker.
To break it down, several analysts have said that an average income Mississippi family would see about $80 more per month disappear as Bush-era tax cuts disappear Jan. 1.
The goal for lawmakers is to come up with a deal to extend those tax cuts. Some, like Pres. Obama, want to see a deal that would raise taxes on Americans who make over $250,000 per year as part of the deal. Republicans have rejected notions of tax increases in the hopes that Democrats would instead accept a deal that cuts government speding to save the money, rather than raising taxes or enacting any new taxes.
""What we need to admit in Washington D.C., is that we have a spending problem. With a trillion dollars per year deficit added on top the 16 trillion we already have? We're going to have to do like families do when they fall on hard times," said Wicker.
Wicker is in favor of spending cuts, while House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, has drawn fire for his attempts to compromise with a plan that included tax cuts for those who make over $1 million per year. His plan did not have the votes from fellow Republicans.
Going over the "Fiscal Cliff" will also likely mean the eventual loss of 11,000 Mississippi defense jobs. The cuts are set to come as part of military sequestration. That can be blamed on the failure of last year's bi-partisan Congressional "Supercommittee" to come up with a solution. The result is a half-trillion dollars in cuts to the military and defense budget. Mississippi is home to defense contractors and bases in places like Meridian, Columbus and Biloxi that will likely be affected.
"I'm very discouraged. We are told that the president and majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, are working on a plan. But it will almost surely involve a tax increase on job creators," said Wicker.