Answers to common tax questions
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Rock climbers Pieter Versteed and Kristen Weber actually enjoy falling off cliffs.
"I don't actually mind falling anymore," said Weber. "Because I know that I have a rope."
But that fiscal cliff we've heard so much about recently, they'd just as soon stay on solid footing.
"It's pretty simple math. We're not taking in as much as we're doling out," said Versteed.
"I'm trying to save more money and be responsible so I can be prepared for whatever happens," added Weber.
If nothing changes, whatever happens could be bad, says University of Minnesota economist V.V Chari.
"It's a pretty steep drop off," said Chari. "Taxes would go up pretty dramatically. The spending reductions would start taking effect."
Come Jan. 1, big time spending cuts and tax hikes are set to go into effect, which possibly means another recession.
Chari believes it's a big problem that America can handle.
"America is still a country where sensible and responsible people will come together and solve these problems. We've done it in the past, we'll do it again," he said.
But it is still a looming problem that needs fixing causing many people to ask, what will our elected officials do about it?
Perhaps the better question is what are you willing to do about it?" asks Chari.
For example, simply getting rid of tax breaks would be a tough sacrifice, but one that would go a long way.
"That in terms of revenue is close to a trillion dollars. So if you just did that, and I'm not saying you ought to, the problem is gone," he said.
Chari recommends us all to think about something we can cut that the government provides and then tell your elected official about it, over and over again.
"A sense of shared sacrifice requires people to step forward and say here are the sacrifices I am willing to make," he said.
Along as there's a rope, Weber and Versteed are willing to make those sacrifices.
"The analogy could be made with the government, that hopefully someone's got our back," said Versteed.
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