With the year end deadline just a few days away leaders in Washington continue to discuss how they can try to avoid the so called, "fiscal cliff." YNN's Kevin Jolly talked with two Western New York County Executives about what it could mean if a deal is not reached.
ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. — Eleventh hour negotiations are underway between the President and House Republicans to avoid the fiscal cliff, a combination of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to go into effect January 1st if the two sides can't reach an agreement.
"One thing that's certain is the fundamental failure of leadership; a fundamental failure of doing the job we elected these federal representatives to do," said Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards.
Edwards, who is a Republican, is critical of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. He says ultimately if the country goes over the fiscal cliff, it's the taxpayers who'll suffer.
“By every estimate, taxes are going up between $2,004 for every hard working citizen here, not only in Chautauqua County but across the nation. Here, it prevents small businesses from growing because those small business owners are taxpayers, so more of their dollars are going to be going to the federal government instead of reinvested in themselves and this community right behind me," said Edwards.
Democratic Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is also concerned. He says if there's no agreement, it could directly impact some county services.
"There's a chance that if we do go over the fiscal cliff from a federal government standpoint it will negatively affect Erie County with the loss of grant funding, especially in the social service area. We're worried about that, but no matter what happens we're keeping a watch on it and we're going to do the best job we possibly can to ensure we have a balanced budget at the end of the year," said Poloncarz.
If no agreement is reached Friday or Saturday, a last ditch meeting is tentatively scheduled between the President and Republican Congressional leaders Sunday.