Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Buffalo

Western New Yorkers Weigh in on Fiscal Cliff

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BUFFALO, N.Y. - Small business owners Dave Winter of Winter Farms and Craig Locke of Great Harvest Bread are frustrated Congress has yet to reach an agreement to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

“We've been in this rut for several years now, this standoff between the Republicans and the Democrats, and somebody's got to give otherwise we're going to pay dearly for it," said Locke.

"It's had a long time to get fixed and now it's down to the wire and it's just too late and let the wagon go over the edge and then we'll get it fixed," said Winter.

Now with less than two weeks before the year-end deadline, Congress still seems to be no closer to an agreement that they were a year ago.

"The President and the Speaker of the House have been engaged in negotiations and my hope is that there'll be some breakthrough this week. There's no reason for this," said Congressman Brian Higgins.

Higgins says the reason for the stand-off is simple.

"The major sticking point is politics. This is why people hate Congress and their disdain for Congress is certainly justified when Congress acts like this," said Higgins.

President Obama wants to raise revenue by extending most of the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year. He also wants to let the rates on individuals who make more than $200,000 and families that make more than $250,000, return to the higher rates of the 1990s. Republicans are rejecting raising anyone’s taxes, and are instead proposing eliminating some deductions and loopholes.

“The increased revenue that the president has championed is 80 billion dollars a year. We have a 1.1 trillion dollar national debt problem every year, added to the 16 trillion dollars of total national debt. That math doesn't work," said Congressman Tom Reed.

Higgins believes despite the political posturing, both sides will come to an agreement, but he wouldn't speculate on exactly what that agreement will be.

"An agreement will be reached I suspect sometime next week," said Higgins.

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