Buffalo, N.Y. - Although we may be sick of hearing about the fiscal cliff, unless a deal is reached by the time we start singing Auld Lang Syne, it's going to mean a not very happy new year for almost all of us.
The non partisan Tax Policy Center says if there's no deal that about 90% of us will see our taxes go up
For a family with an income of about $50,000, no deal would mean a tax increase of about $2,000 next year.
Members of the House of Representatives, including Western New York's three members - Democrats Brian Higgins and Kathy Hochul and Republican Tom Reed - are now on the sidelines, spectators like the rest of us waiting to see if the president can work out a deal with the senate, and waiting to see if they'll have something to vote on before next Tuesday.
All three believe a single word that isn't heard much in Washington these days can resolve things. That one word: compromise.
Congressman Brian Higgins: "This is a math problem and we can do it by embracing both Republican and Democratic ideas, but moving the American economy forward."
Congressman Tom Reed: "We're going to have to find that common ground for the good of America. As long as we're making legitimate steps forward I will join with Democrats in getting it done."
Congresswoman Kathy Hochul: "We have to get a plan out of the Senate that Democrats and Republicans can support, so it has to be a middle of the road compromise which is what I have advocated since the very, very beginning."
Scott Brown: "Do you think if it comes back to the House, there will be enough combined votes between Democrats and Republicans?"
Congressman Brian Higgins: "Well that's the question. Is John Boehner, the House Speaker, going to allow that vote to occur? I don't know and that's something only he can answer."
Here's why Higgins says that - there's been speculation that the Speaker may not let a vote occur until after the New Year. Why? Well as of January first, tax rates would go up on everyone.
So if a vote takes place after that, Republicans could leave the new higher tax rates in place for the very wealthy, then go ahead and vote for a tax cut for the vast majority of Americans, and that way they'd be able to say that they didn't raise taxes on anyone.