Experts predict 6,000 jobs could be lost, local businesses at risk
(CONCORD, NH) – With less than a month to act, the U.S. faces a real risk of going over the “fiscal cliff” – a dangerous combination of spending cuts and tax expirations scheduled to hit on January 1 unless Congress and the White House take action.
The Congressional Budget Office predicts that the cliff could push the country back into a recession. In New Hampshire, up to 6,000 jobs would be lost if we go over the cliff, according to an analysis by PolEcon Research and George Mason University, and experts warn local economies could bear the brunt of losses.
“The consequences of the fiscal cliff are real – in many cases we’re already seeing them. But those are only the tip of the iceberg if Washington fails to address our debt problems,” said Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, co-chair of the Fix the Debt state chapter. “We might be far removed from the halls of Congress, but families across New Hampshire and businesses on Main Street are going to shoulder the consequences of going over the fiscal cliff.”
If lawmakers fail to avert the fiscal cliff, 18 percent of the federal money that is sent to the states will be eliminated. Those cuts will reduce funding for important local programs including education, housing, and low-income initiatives. Curtailments of federal grants will cut out 6.8 percent of all revenue New Hampshire receives on an annual basis, according to the Pew Center on the States, much of which has already been allocated into the state’s future spending plans. The combination of tax hikes and nearly across-the-board federal spending cuts would have profoundly negative effects on working families, funding for K-12 and higher education, and small businesses and major employers alike.
“Americans deserve leadership that watches out for their best interest. We should all be able to agree that going over the fiscal cliff is poor policy. I ask Congress to make the right choice and work together to forge a debt deal that helps the economy regain its footing,” added Arthur Klemm, a New Hampshire small business retailer and Fix the Debt state steering committee member.
Already, uncertainty around the fiscal cliff is affecting financial markets. A national survey by the National Association for Business Economists found 87 percent of respondents believe economic uncertainty is holding back the economy. Unfortunately, gridlock in Washington is threatening to push the country over cliff as the January 1 deadline looms.
Americans have expressed a desire for lawmakers in Washington to work together on comprehensive debt reduction legislation. A Gallup poll in December found 62 percent of Americans want government leaders to work on bipartisan solutions.
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is a nonpartisan coalition with more than 315,000 members active across 17 states. Members come from a broad range of social, economic, and political backgrounds. The Campaign supports a debt reduction framework that produces greater tax revenue, cuts wasteful spending, and improves important social programs, all while aimed at putting the long-term debt on a path of gradual reduction.
For more information on the Campaign to Fix the Debt please visit www.fixthedebt.org.