WNY (WKBW) - With congress gone and the president out of town Washington looks a little like a ghost town today.
But thanks to the complete failure of our political leaders to agree on a deficit deal, Americans of all stripes are about to be clobbered with a big tax hike.
Virtually everybody will take a hit.
A school teacher with two kids and a salary of $43,000, for example, will face a tax hike of more than $3000.
Members of congress helped get us in this mess, and they'll pay too with an income of $174,000. They'll pay $7500 more in taxes.
And the super rich, well consider basketball phenom LeBron James. He makes about $53 million a year. But would see his taxes go up more than $2.4 million next year alone.
That would be real money from LeBron, enough to pay for the flight
President Obama took Friday on Air Force One to Hawaii but not enough to fly him back.
And the fiscal cliff is about more than taxes.
Without a deal, we are also likely to see federal workers furloughed because of across the board cuts, and unemployment benefits expire on January 1st for some 2 million people looking for work.
What's being done to stop this?
Congress is MIA and so is the president, ABC's Reena Ninan is traveling with him in Hawaii:
Ninan says this is as close as secret service will let anyone get to
President Obama where he's staying here on Kailua beach. A favorite spot for wind surfers. He'll be spending Christmas with his family. no public events scheduled for Christmas eve or Christmas day.
The president will likely return soon and congress is due back Thursday, leaving just four days before the end of the year and the beginning of the fiscal cliff.