JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On Friday, Americans heard about the looming so-called fiscal cliff from both sides.
“I outlined a responsible path forward to avert the fiscal cliff without raising tax rates. The Congressional Budget Office released a report showing that the most harmful consequences of the fiscal cliff come from increasing tax rates,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner.
"We can't just cut our way to prosperity. If we're serious about reducing the deficit we have to combine spending cuts with revenue and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes,” said President Barack Obama.
Two plans, two different ideas on how America will avoid falling off the so-called fiscal cliff – which according to the Congressional Budget Office breaks down to $2,000 - $3,000 more in taxes for the average family.
Boehner is calling for all the tax cuts set to expire on December 31, including those for the wealthy, to be extended until next year to give them more time to work out a bigger deal.
"2013 should be the year we begin to solve our debt through tax reform and entitlement reform and I'm proposing that we avert the fiscal cliff together in a manner that ensures that 2013 is finally the year that our government comes to grips with the major problems that are facing us," said Boehner.
However on Friday, President Obama said he only wants to extend tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year. He called on Congress to make that happen immediately.
“All we need is action from the House and I’ve got the pen ready to sign the bill right away,” Obama said.
But what’s the better option?
We went to University of North Florida political science professor Michael Binder to get the real story.
"The real story is neither party's plan gets you all the way there,” said Binder.
He believes the deficit is too large and the proposals are simply too small to solve the nation’s dilemma. And when we asked about the likelihood of a quick compromise, he wasn’t too optimistic.
"They'll probably just redo it and kick it down the road a little bit more. I'm not super optimistic that anything long term is going to get solved anytime soon,” said Binder.
The President said he invited leaders from both parties to the White House next week to begin these talks. But with just more than a month left to reach a solution, the clock is ticking for both sides.