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Published December 26, 2012, 05:56 PM

How the fiscal cliff could affect you

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - As January first draws nearer, Congress is still working on a fiscal cliff agreement.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - As January first draws nearer, Congress is still working on a fiscal cliff agreement.

But how would it affect your pocketbook if we go over the edge?

If Congress doesn't come to an agreement by the deadline, everyone will see the affects reflected in their paychecks. But those who rely on government programs will likely fall the hardest.

Going over a fiscal cliff means we all would hit the ground, some harder than others. It would cause automatic tax increases and deep cuts into social programs.

Everyone in the country would see Social Security payments rise 2% as it reverts back to the old number.

Brent Drovdal, CPA, Taxman: "That's 2% cut out of your paycheck. And then depending on what you're making, you could also move up the tax bracket and pay more that way, too."

But the toll would be hardest for those who rely on social programs.

Millions, including 12,000 in Minnesota, would lose unemployment benefits.

Joseph Pederson, Lakes & Prairies Community Action: "People on unemployment will go to other programs, which will also be cut, so it's a double hurt."

One thing is clear - no matter who you are, it will affect you. But just what will happen is still very unclear.

Drovdal: "It's all up in the air right now. It would be nice if they would make a deal so we could plan for the future."

President Obama cut his Christmas holiday short to return to negotiations today.

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