Fiscal cliff becomes big concern

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - We have not seen much evidence over the past few years of compromise in Washington. In fact, what we've witnessed is a growing divide.

And that really is troubling because over the next two months, we're going to need extensive compromise - real leadership - more than ever.

That's when we'll see a long list of policies expiring, like the Bush tax cuts and the payroll tax holiday...measures that may put a little more money in your pocket.

But those measures are not curbing the country's debt problem. We've essentially wracked up a $16 trillion dollar credit card bill.

Figuring out what to keep and what to cut will require teamwork in Washington.

But last night, of course, the White House stayed blue, while many states stayed red. Here in North Carolina, the GOP took control.

Republican Richard Hudson seized Democrat Larry Kissell's seat.

"We've got to cut spending," he said at his victory party. "We've got to get the out of control spending under control, and so I'm going to push for a balanced budget amendment."

Republicans and Democrats have very different ideas of how to do that, however.

For example, President Obama's senior advisors have said he won't accept any deal that doesn't cut Bush tax cuts for top earners, and Republicans say they'll only pass a package that does.

Economists warn that the abrupt nature of losing so many programs at once could throw the country back into a recession.