The United States government is just days away from going over the so-called fiscal cliff. Most lawmakers were away from Washington on break Thursday despite December 31 being the big deadline.
If we do go over the fiscal cliff a lot of complicated things would happen, but the noticeable impact on most people in Green Country would be more taxes being withheld from paychecks.
"I have concerns about it," Patrice Latimer said. "I don't have any idea how to really solve the whole problem."
The whole problem is our country's out of control debt and Bush-era tax cuts that expire in five days.
If lawmakers in Washington don't come up with a solution, people could start feeling the impact with their first January paychecks.
Someone who is married with two kids and making $30,000 a year would pay about $1,400 more in taxes per year, or around $100 more per month.
Someone married with two kids making $60,000 a year would pay roughly $200 more in taxes each month.
And someone who's married with two kids making $100,000 a year would pay close to an extra $430 per month. Click here
to calculate how much your taxes will increase if we go over the fiscal cliff.
But taxes are just one of the potential impacts of going over the fiscal cliff. Many government programs would face severe cuts.
"Everything's on the table," Jake Dollarhide, CEO of Longbow Asset Management, said. "From farm subsidies to charitable contributions, everything is on the table."
In all, roughly $1.2 trillion in government spending would be cut over 10 years, with about half coming from the defense budget.
About two million Americans would also lose jobless benefits.
"It can have a nasty domino effect," Dollarhide said. "People aren't going to eat at restaurants, they're not going to the movie theaters. Small businesses aren't hiring. Small businesses aren't buying technology."
And that potential impact on the entire economy is what's most worrisome to Latimer.
"I'm concerned for myself, but that doesn't seem to move the ball anywhere," she said.
It's clear that going over the fiscal cliff would put a strain on small businesses, but at this point it's unclear how big of a strain that would be.
Dollarhide says the only really good outcome to the situation is for lawmakers to reach a compromise on a plan quickly and avoid the fiscal cliff.
"We've got to start taking some fiscal responsibility," he said. "Yet at the same time, while we want to be responsible for the future, we've still got to get the economy going [now]."
Even if lawmakers don't reach a deal before the fiscal cliff deadline, it doesn't mean they can't still reach a compromise after that. While reaching a deal after the deadline would solve some of the problems, it wouldn't avoid all of them, though.