By Nancy Lockwood
Channel 2 News
8:07 PM AKST, December 8, 2012
Automatic changes to the federal budget are scheduled to occur on January first if President Obama and Congress can not reach an agreement. These budget changes are to address the $16 trillion debt and prevent the nation from falling over a metaphorical "fiscal cliff".
Some small business owners in Anchorage are unsure of how the fiscal cliff budget changes might affect them.
Elma Crittell, who owns and operates the Merle Norman Boutique in University Center on Old Seward Highway, says she wants lawmakers to get something done. She describes the process in Washington as "just going back and forth and everybody wants to have their own way instead of compromising."
Melissa Salazar-Blake, an independently-operating Anchorage hairstylist, believes the first of the year changes are "going to be a shock." She goes on to explain that owning her own business keeps her too busy to spend much time researching politics, but the fiscal cliff scenario is on her "list of things to look up," because of the effect it will have on her livelihood.
Among other changes to be enacted at the beginning of 2013 is the cessation of unemployment benefits for more than two million people. The people affected would be those who have been out of work for more than six months.
If congress does not extend the assistance again, then another one million people will lose benefits during the first three months of 2013.
White House officials say President Obama is committed to extending jobless benefits another year which would cost about $30 billion.
Contact Nancy Lockwood
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