White House: Wisconsin families will pay thousands more in taxes if country goes over fiscal cliff

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The country hangs on the edge of the fiscal cliff.

And with 25 days to go, members of Congress are back in their districts while leaders try to iron out a deal.

Democrats want to maintain tax rates for the middle class and raise taxes on the nation's highest earners.

The GOP wants them to stay as is, proposing cuts instead.

So what does this mean for us here in Wisconsin?

The White House sent WEAU a report Thursday, which says middle class families in Wisconsin will end up paying thousands of dollars more in taxes if a deal isn't reached by January 1.

The National Economic Council says if we go over the fiscal cliff, income taxes will go up for 2.2 million middle class families in Wisconsin.

A typical median-income Wisconsin family of four making $79,600 a year could see its taxes rise $2,200.

That family would also lose marriage and child tax credits.

The report also said a working single mother with two kids making $24,000 a year would see an increase of $1,500.

Democratic Congressman Ron Kind of La Crosse said the fiscal cliff is more of a fiscal slope.

“Everything doesn't happen in January, the spending cuts are phased in over 10 years, rate changes don't happen to the next filing season or so. So it's not as if everything suddenly hits us right away early next year,” Rep. Kind said.

And if we crash and burn?

“We can all come back and offer tax relief for middle income working families again that they could support,” Rep. Kind said.

Republican Congressman Sean Duffy of Weston said our national debt of $16 trillion should not be left out of the discussion.

“Both sides are going to have to give here and I think we can do the revenue side not by raising rates, but by talking about how we can close some loopholes or cap the deductions on the itemized side, at which could bring in more revenue and really affect the wealthier Americans out there,” Rep. Duffy said.

The Obama Administration says it's prepared for the U.S. to go over the cliff if a deal is not reached.

But our Wisconsin congressmen say compromise is in motion.

“The speaker has been far more reasonable in trying to find a compromise that will reform the spending side but also do what the president asked to bring in more revenue,” Rep. Duffy said.

“For those of us who want to be able to support a long term deficient reduction deal, my guess is we're going to have to vote with one hand hold our nose with the other. That's the definition of compromise and what we need as a country right now,” Rep. Kind said.

Congress is not set to be back in session until Tuesday and it only has three sessions until the end of the year.

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