Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Westside

December 18, 2012

Fiscal cliff could have swift, negative impact on Indiana

(Continued)

In fact, he said he doesn't think the majority of U.S. citizens are ready for the austerity measures needed to truly get the economy back on track. That's because we're getting a lot of government services at cut-rate costs.

"Once households start paying the bill for the government services they're getting, the enthusiasm for the size of government we have will go away," Hicks said.

While going over the fiscal cliff may plunge us back into economic recession, Hicks says there could be a silver lining too.

"It could actually encourage businesses to move forward with plans because there will be certainty about future tax rates - which is one of the things holding business expansion back today," he said. "I don't think it's the sole reason, but certainly there are businesses that are cutting expenditures because of the new health care law. They're not hiring and in some cases are laying off (employees)."

Even as difficult as these tax increases and spending cuts are likely to be - assuming they go as currently scheduled - Hicks believes it will take a generation before we stop feeling the effects of our national debt. But it's also reaching a point where leaders can't put off addressing it any longer.

"At some point markets will force us to deal with the fiscal cliff," Hicks said. "Borrowing costs will rise significantly."

He said he's not worried about the United States experiencing the social unrest plaguing Greece following that country's attempts at economic stability. That's because here we can print our own money.

"I'm more worried about hyper-inflation, though I think we're still a long way from that," said Hicks, calling that a tax on savings.

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