Northland Weighs in on 'Fiscal Cliff'

Posted at: 12/29/2012 5:29 PM
Updated at: 12/31/2012 11:16 AM
By: Maarja Anderson

Just days away from year's end, the pressure is on Senate leaders to come to a bipartisan agreement to avoid the "fiscal cliff." Here in the Northland, some say the refusal by the two parties to work together is more frustrating than the federal budget struggle itself.

Last minute "fiscal cliff" talks at the White House Friday have Senate leaders grasping for a compromise that would avoid middle-class tax increases and prevent deep spending cuts at the turn of the New Year. But months in discussion, time is now running out on an agreement.

"I think it's very bad form in this day and age for the two parties not to agree after all this horrible wrangling around the election," said Ann Markusen of Cromwell. "I really believe they will come to an agreement, and each side will give some."

While Markusen is optimistic that a bipartisan agreement will be met, others are not so sure.

"I think it's one of those things that we are so divided right now that I think it's going to take something catastrophic before we realize we have to compromise and meet in the middle," said Charles Gonsell of Saint Paul.

For some in the Northland, it seems the division in Washington is more troubling than the federal budget itself.

"I think it's just a political thing where two sides can't get along enough to come up with an agreement," said Jeff Weber of Minneapolis.

Senate leaders are now racing against the clock, hoping to present a compromise to lawmakers Sunday, which is just over 24 hours before the New Year's deadline.