Attempts continue in Washington to avert the fiscal cliff that is set to go into effect on Tuesday, January 1. Top House and Senate leaders plan to meet with President Obama at the White House on Friday afternoon. If no agreement is reached, people would notice changes through spending cuts and tax increases.
The Bush-era tax cuts would expire for all income levels, meaning more money will come out of people's pay checks in 2013. That impact would be felt little by little throughout the year, according to Marquette Democrat Tom Baldini.
"The government then is going to have to implement the new income tax charges," said Baldini. "That probably will not happen on the first paycheck you get in January, unless you get paid at the end of the month, it could be. But from what I've heard is that they haven't converted over to that yet."
Baldini said the automatic spending cuts would result in the sudden loss of unemployment benefits for more than 40 percent of the nearly 5 million Americans who have been unemployed for more than six months.
"That will not be extended, they will immediately lose their benefits, very immediately," Baldini said. "There are cuts for Medicare, Medicaid, which will impact state and federal. Doctors will be impacted, hospitals probably will be impacted. There's also cuts in the military, huge cuts in the military."
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is not optimistic that a deal will be reached before Tuesday.
"I don't know timewise how it can happen now," said Reid.
Republican Senator John Thune from South Dakota said Democrats and Republicans are at a stalemate because, "Democrats haven't been willing to discuss the issue of spending."