MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If Congress does not end the battle over the so-called “fiscal cliff,” Minnesotans could pay thousands of dollars in higher taxes by January. That’s according to a new Tax Foundation study, coming just six weeks before the budget must be fixed – or else.

On Monday, Ilo Madden joined a protest on a Minneapolis street corner: Calling for higher taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year.

With Social Security and Medicare, Madden is making it — barely. But she says higher income Americans should bear more of the burden than her.

“I’ve got my nose right at the waterline and it seems like every time we get a little cost of living increase, there’s a line of people waiting to raise the price of gas, or bread or medicine,” said Madden.

Tax hikes may be only a small part of the problems Minnesotans could face. If the deficit is not fixed by the end of the year, automatic spending cuts take over: Defense, farm subsidies, National parks, student loans, the FBI, the EPA and more.

Everyone gets a tax hike, too: An average tax hike of nearly $4,400 in Minnesota.

Since the election, Republican congressman Erik Paulsen is more optimistic about a deal, but a deal without tax hikes for any American, including the wealthy.

“We know that small businesses are the engine of the economy and if we are going into a battle of raising the rates on those who making (more than) $250,000, we’re going to impact small business in a negative way and that’s going to be nearly seven months of job growth lost,” said Paulsen.

President Barack Obama says he’s willing to accept spending cuts to make a deal. But he’ll veto any bill that doesn’t include tax hikes on higher income Americans.

“On Tuesday night, we found out that a majority of Americans agree with my approach,” said Obama.

Congress and the President begin post-election talks this week to balance the budget. It’s the first time Republicans will sit down with Obama since he won reelection to a second term.


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