Nebraskans Protest as Fiscal Cliff Looms

By: Kim Eiten Email
By: Kim Eiten Email

Get ready for automatic tax hikes and spending cuts.

The clock is ticking, and in just three weeks the country could plunge off the fiscal cliff.

The president and Congress have until the first of January to stop that.

With the new year approaching quickly, those hikes and cuts are starting to become a viable threat across the country and in Lincoln.

If you drove downtown, you probably saw the signs reading messages of 'tax the wealthy' and 'don't cut Medicare and Social Security benefits.'

Nebraskans, like Barbara Mullenax, took to the streets, holding signs and hope that they'll still have Social Security benefits come January.

"If they cut this, I don't know where I'll be," Mullenax said.

It could happen, and those cuts could lead to delays.

"It's hard to tell what that would do right now, but you could see delays of three to four months of getting a check," Matt Perlinger of the Omaha Social Security office said.

It would hit those who depend on that Social Security cash to live.

"So, if someone is coming in to the Social Security office to retire right now, it could be three to four months to get a check," Perlinger said. "That's devastating if that's all you have."

But, it's not the only issue on O Street. The crowd downtown called for an end to tax cuts for the wealthy too.

"Our message is very clear. We want tax cuts for the 2% gone," Nebraska AFL-CIO President, Ken Mass said.

Those dealing with the problem said that's not the answer.

"We have got to do something about the spending. An obsession to raise taxes is not going to solve the problem," Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said.

So, what will?

That's up to the president and congress to work out.

Republicans have been adamantly opposed to raising taxes, but may find a compromise if Democrats agree to Social Security and Medicare changes.

They have just 21 days to do it.


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