No deal in sight as fiscal cliff looms

The clock is ticking for lawmakers to avert sweeping tax hikes and spending cuts.

The clock is ticking for lawmakers to avert sweeping tax hikes and spending cuts. (12/27/12)

WOODBURY - The nation is teetering on the brink of the so-called fiscal cliff without a deal in sight, and experts say unless a compromise is hammered out, there could be dire consequences for Long Island taxpayers.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blames House Republicans for refusing to come to the table as the fiscal cliff looms.

President Barack Obama says he has reached out to congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to push for a deal.

The House remains on its Christmas break, but members have been warned that they could be called back on 48 hours notice.

If a deal isn't reached, across-the-board tax hikes and steep spending cuts will take effect on New Year's Day.

Pearl Kamer, chief economist for the Long Island Association, says the Island could be hurled back into a recession without a deal. Long Islanders who earn between $40,000 and $65,000 per year will pay about $1,500 more in payroll taxes, or roughly $130 per month starting in January. People with higher incomes will pay even more, Kamer says.

The uncertainty means businesses could stop hiring and consumers would likely cut back. Residents tell News 12 Long Island that Washington had better get to work because they simply don't have the extra money to part with.

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