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Wisconsin politicians react to looming 'fiscal cliff'

Wisconsin Congressman Reid Ribble and Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson talk about coming up with budget compromises.

Green Bay, Wis.(WFRV)-- Just days after the election -- our country is facing an important economic crossroads.

 Economists warn that if Congress doesn't reach a deal on taxes and spending -- the U.S. could fall into a recession.

 Today, President Obama addressed the "so-called" financial cliff for the first time since his re-election. He says increasing taxes on wealthy Americans must be part of the government's plan to reduce the deficit.  That's something Republicans can't agree on. What both parties can agree on, is that Americans are looking for compromise.


 But the two sides are still far from it, when it comes to how to reduce the federal deficit.
 President Obama, "I'm open to compromise, I'm open to new ideas. I'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges, but I refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced."
 The so-called "fiscal cliff" is a series of tax hikes and spending cuts that will kick in at the end of the year unless Republicans and Democrats can reach a deal.

 The president is firm on his plan that families making more than 250-thousand dollars a year will pay more. Says President Obama, "I"m not going to ask students and seniors and middle class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me making over $250,000 aren't asked to pay a dime more in taxes. I'm not going to do that."


 Wisconsin Congressman Reid Ribble says Republicans are also open to compromise, but wants to see fairness.  Says Congressman Ribble, "The idea that bureaucrat in Washington DC knows what you can afford,  it just doesn't make sense, from the tax policy or the fairness policy."


 House Republicans are firmly against any tax increases. They want cuts to entitlement programs, and are pushing tax reform that closes loopholes and simplifies the tax code.


 Says Congressman Ribble, "What we have to do is put the political clubs down, everyone put their sword down long enough to do something right for the American people."


 Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, "We agree on the vast majority of it. No one wants to increase taxes on the vast majority of Americans. I don't know of a tax increase that actually helps grow the economy,  that actually helps create a job." 


 The President says he's invited leaders from both parties to the White House next week.
 Congressman Ribble says he will head to Washington Sunday and was told by party leaders to plan on staying up until the end of the year.

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