Cliff negotiations frustrating to watch for Hoosiers

Justin Von Buchler
Published: .
Updated: .

Like most of Americans, Hoosiers are watching fiscal cliff negotiations very closely. What lawmakers ultimately do, or do not do, could have a profound effect on prospects for the new year.

The White House and congressional Republicans agreed Monday to block across-the-board tax increases set for midnight, but held up a final deal as they haggled away the final hours of 2012 in a dispute over spending cuts. House Republicans notified lawmakers that the chamber will vote Monday evening on other bills - meaning they won't vote on the fiscal package by the midnight deadline.

Back in Indianapolis, voters were frustrated to hear that news.

The supermarket is always a good place to prepare for New Year's Eve. Justin Von Buchler had a lot of things to pick up for the big party to come.

"Some sparkling white grape juice for the kiddos, drinks for the adults and some Christmas trees that were on sale for the kids," said Von Buchler.

Since he just started a new job in 2012, this married father of three is optimistic for what the new year will bring despite the looming fiscal cliff.

"I would rather they just do it. It's kind of wishy washy on what they are going to do so if they'd just do it then we can figure out how to change what we are buying. Move their income around and plan for it but if you are just on the border and you don't know what to do it is hard for people to plan for the future," he said.

It's especially hard to plan since the loss of the Bush tax cuts would take a big bite out of disposable income and could further spur unemployment. Pending an agreement, more than two million out-of-work Americans will receive their last federal unemployment checks this week as well. Federal spending cuts could hit some of Indiana's biggest employers, like research universities and defense contractors which rely on federal contracts and grants.

All of this could make 2013 a lot more combustible than the party that will mark its beginning. Von Buchler was philosophical.

"It's just part of life. There will always be good things and bad things. Part of life is working through them and seeing what we can do to make it better and survive," he said.