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Nov 13, 2012 10:42 PM by Steven Albritton

Fiscal Cliff Looming, Local Congressmen Weigh In

The "fiscal cliff" is a term for a deadline date which could mean tax hikes, unless there's a budget deal in congress. Here's what you need to know, January first is the deadline for the "edge of the cliff." That's when a package of tax increases and spending cuts goes into effect. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects it could cost the country $671billion dollars. 3.4 million jobs could be lost and unemployment could reach 9.1%.

Now in a runoff, it's been a contentious race for the district 3 seat, but both candidates, Congressmen Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry, are off the campaign trail and back in Washington facing the looming Fiscal Cliff. Landry says he did his part voting to "avoid" coming to this point.

"Earlier this year, I already voted to extend all of the Bush Era tax cuts. So there should be no fiscal cliffs based upon taxes. Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats just need to pass that bill," Landry said.

For Democrats, the Bush-era tax cuts are a sticking point in negotiations. President Obama won re-election, campaigning on a promise to end those tax breaks for the wealthiest of Americans. But should those tax-cuts expire, most Americans will feel the pinch.

"And so we need to extend the current tax law for at least another year to allow us the time to get into real tax reform, to lower rates across the board for everybody to allow us to clean up loop holes," Congressman Charles Boustany said.

But while there seems to be agreement, this is a campaign and even on this issue, there is room for politics.

"I'm kind of scared to answer this question, because my opponent skews everything that he says on your station, so I hope you air everything that I'm about to say. Earlier this year, I already voted to extend all of the Bush Era tax cuts," Landry said.

"It's going to hurt small businesses and jobs because small businesses will see higher taxes. And at a time we're trying to see a recovery in this economy we certainly don't want more job loss," Boustany said.



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