How will fiscal cliff affect businesses, federal programs? - WSMV Channel 4

How will fiscal cliff affect businesses, federal programs?

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

If America goes over the fiscal cliff, it could mean tax increases for quite a few small business owners.

Earik Beann runs a software company in Franklin, and he's concerned that tax increases could have a big impact on his customers.

"If you take $2,000 out of someone's billfold, then they have to decide what products they can't buy for that money, and that's money that doesn't go to us or doesn't go to other businesses," said Beann.

He's been keeping a close eye on the back and forth coming out of Washington, D.C., on Monday, including the president announcing that a deal is in sight.

But if Congress doesn't act by midnight, the fiscal cliff would trigger a series of tax increases and steep cuts to the military, education and many other programs funded with federal money.

Some local lawmakers are calling the whole ordeal shameful.

"I think it's an embarrassment to the president, an embarrassment to both sides of the aisle and both the House and the Senate," said U.S. Sen. Bob Corker.

Without a vote, the average tax increase on a middle class family would be around $2,000 a year.

Those are the cuts that concern Beann.

"If you push the middle class over a cliff, then everyone is going to go over the cliff," said Beann.

While he likes hearing that there's progress in the negotiations, he's not going to rejoice until it's a done deal.

"I would really like for something to get done, and I think everyone knows that this is a big deal. Unfortunately, the way Congress tends to work is they just bicker back and forth and back and forth," said Beann.

The other side of the fiscal cliff is the steep cuts to many federal programs.

Here in Tennessee, many people are waiting to see how that will affect them.

The WIC nutrition program is expected to have to cut more than 13,000 Tennessee mothers and children.

But the Metro Health Department said it will be business as usual at its four clinics until leaders get some clarity and guidance.

"It's really too early to say what's going to happen but we do know that we will be open on Wednesday and we'll just see what happens today and over the next few days," said Metro Health Department spokesman Brian Todd.

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