Reid and Washington lawmakers try to avoid taking economy over - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Reid and Washington lawmakers try to avoid taking economy over fiscal cliff

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Sen. Harry Reid and other Nevada lawmakers who are still in office will have a big challenge before the year is over - avoiding taking the economy over a fiscal cliff.

The fiscal cliff which has everyone in Washington nervous is a combination of two things.

First are sharp spending cuts to military and domestic programs imposed by congress last year to reduce our out of control debt.

The second is the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts which President Barack Obama extended two years ago.

"(The Bush-era tax cuts) will be eliminated at the end of the year, so we'll all be paying a lot more taxes next year," said Stephen Brown, Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at UNLV.

Brown said if our economy goes over this fiscal cliff another recession like the 2007 through 2009 crisis will be unavoidable.

"The consequences for the economy are pretty dire," Brown told FOX5.

That's why lawmakers are busy trying to find a solution, hoping to change the laws before 2013.

"There is an alternative to going over the fiscal cliff in whole or in part. It involves making real changes to the financial structure of entitlement programs and reforming our tax code to curb special interest loopholes and deductions. By working together in creating a fairer, simpler, cleaner tax code we can give our country a stronger, healthier economy. A stronger economy means more revenue which is what the president seeks. Because the American people expect us to find common ground we are willing to accept some additional revenues via tax reform," Speaker of the House John Boehner said Wednesday.

Reid agrees bipartisanship is only likely solution.

"But we need Republicans to help us. Compromise is not a dirty word. I'm willing to negotiate any time, any issue," Reid said during a media conference in Washington Wednesday.

If congress doesn't figure something out tax payer will have to pay for it.

"Pay checks will immediately have less money starting the first of the year," Brown said.

For more information on the fiscal cliff click here.

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