Failure to address fiscal cliff could spell disaster for NM

Posted at: 11/09/2012 9:49 PM
Updated at: 11/09/2012 10:18 PM
By: Joe Vigil KOB Eyewitness News 4; staff

The fiscal cliff would basically impact everyone in New Mexico and around the country in the form of higher taxes.

The cliff gets its name because at the end of the calendar year if Congress does nothing to deal with taxes and the deficit, Bush-era tax cuts and the payroll tax cut will expire. Emergency unemployment benefits will also end, and $984 billion in automatic cuts in defense and domestic budgets are triggered.

"It's the most serious issue affecting the country today," Congresswoman elect Michelle Lujan Grisham said.

On a layover in Dallas Friday night on her way to Washington D.C. Lujan Grisham talked about the impact to New Mexico of going over the cliff.

"30,000 jobs lost in New Mexico largely in the district. And really diminishes Kirtland and Sandia," she said. "That is a disaster."

The Congressional Budget Office predicts another U.S. recession if the fiscal cliff isn't taken care of. Lujan Grisham says while in D.C. next week she hopes to urge current leaders to get a budget out to prevent going over the cliff.

"And they have a real opportunity in this session before January to do something about it," she said.

In Washington the president and Republican leaders expressed a willingness Friday to work together on the issue.

"You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours," President Barack Obama said. "And in that spirit, I've invited leaders of both parties to the White House next week so we can start to build consensus."

"And I'm proposing that we avert the fiscal cliff together," House Speaker John Boehner said.

Congressman Ben Ray Lujan told KOB Eyewitness News 4 he plans to have discussions with the leadership in Washington about the importance of our national labs as critical aspects of national security and job creation.