TULSA - A local financial expert says Tulsans living paycheck to paycheck could be among those who suffer the most if a deal cannot be reached to avoid falling over the "fiscal cliff."
According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder, close to 40 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
Jake Dollarhide, CEO of Longbow Asset Management, says monthly budgets are the chief concern facing those living paycheck to paycheck. Knowing how much money will be available for gas, groceries, utility bills and other expenses is dependent upon knowing exactly how much money will be coming in every month.
Dollarhide says the uncertainty over how payroll taxes will be changed creates uncertainty for this group of Americans because changes in payroll taxes will affect monthly income.
Those payroll tax changes, according to Dollarhide, could have the greatest impact on small business owners and their employees.
"If a small business owner doesn't know what taxes look like going out six months into the future, one year in the future, they're less likely to hire, they're less likely to increase their benefits or offer a 401(k) plan," he said.
Dollarhide adds that in the short term, stocks could drop, which would affect retirement plans dependent upon the market.
Dollarhide likens Congress to a bunch of college students cramming for an exam or paper the night before it is due. He calls on Congress to mature and push for a deal for the American public.
Those sentiments are shared by Tulsa residents as well.
Dallas Cooper says he's not shocked by the lack of a deal.
"Am I shocked? Uh, no. Based on what we've seen in the last two or three years, I'm not shocked. I mean, both parties are in opposite ends of the spectrum, not willing to come to the middle, and I think the bulk of us want people to come and compromise," he said.
Another financial advisor, Thom Bowen, said elected officials are only concerned with reelection.
"I think it's typical of the problems we have in Washington, which is they're not willing to make hard decisions, and it seems like their only concern is getting reelected," Bowen said.
And Jennie Pletsch, who is in the process of starting her own small business, said government is dysfunctional right now.
"Pretty much our entire government is not being held accountable. So they're going to continue to not do their jobs. I mean, that sounds pretty blatant. It's not like they're up there doing absolutely nothing, but we're not seeing any result," she said.
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