Leap off fiscal cliff would cost N.M.

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — The looming plunge over the so-called fiscal cliff remains rife with uncertainty although there's no question if Congress and the president fail to make a deal almost everyone takes a hit in their pocketbooks.

While the issues aren't simple, some of the potential outcomes here in the Land of Enchantment are easier to understand.

"It's hard to really understand what it means, but when you actually drill down, find out what it means to the average person's pocketbook, it's going to have a huge impact," Paul Gessing of the libertarian-leaning Rio Grande Foundation said.  "We're all going to see higher taxes.

"I saw numbers saying 88 percent of people are going to see taxes go up."

And they're not going to up a few bucks a paycheck but possibly a few hundred bucks because a reduction in payroll taxes intended to stimulate the economy also would end.

So are the Bush-era tax cuts affecting everyone from the rich to the poor.

And there are new taxes to help pay for reforming the health-insurance system.

And if that's not enough, the law behind the fiscal cliff will force deep spending cuts will serious local consequences.

"Quite frankly, we're already seeing the negative impacts in New Mexico," Gessing said.

Case in point: Los Alamos National Laboratory announcing in February it was cutting up to 800 jobs.

So, with all of that bad news, what are the chances Congress and the president can avoid the fiscal cliff?

"It's not looking good," Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., told KRQE News 13 early Friday morning.  "You can imagine a family for decades living beyond its means, running up credit cards and bills and debt.  We've done that."

The other big effect of stepping off the fiscal cliff would be instantly dropping about two million people off unemployment.

Even if the country goes over the cliff, it's possible Congress could undo some of that damage although it could take a few weeks at least.

Copyright 2014 KRQE TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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New Mexico (change)

New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.
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Governor: Susana Martinez
Lieutenant Governor: John Sanchez
Attorney General: Gary King
Secretary of State: Dianna J. Durán

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