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White House warns fiscal cliff could cut holidays short

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: White House warns fiscal cliff could cut holidays short
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The holidays are thought of as a time for giving, but the White House warns people may be giving less this year because of the upcoming fiscal cliff. Our Andrew Sorensen talked to retailers and consumers to see if Washington's planned tax hikes and spending cuts will cut the holiday fun short.

NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. -- As Lauren Gilbert shops for her four kids' Christmas presents, she has a long list of things to consider.

"My kid wants to get this Captain Rex gun and then he wants the 3DS and the Super Mario. It's the sticker shock. I just want to do the best that I can," she said.

Now Uncle Sam says she may have one more thing to worry about: The fiscal cliff. The White House released a report this week saying consumers may spend less and retailers may take a hit over the concerns of higher taxes next year.

"It's important for business obviously, but it's also important for our team," said Target store team leader Ryan Miltsch.

Some big retailers already expect losses from the fiscal cliff, but do they need to be as worried about early losses? And what will happen to retail stores if holiday spending does slow down?

Utica College professor Dr. Glen Hansen said, "Well I'm probably not going to spend less personally, even though I know that there's a potential for me to have a lot bigger tax bill next year."

Hansen said most people still don't know how the cliff will affect them, if at all making it unclear how they'll be spending their money and how their spending will affect retailers.

Big Apple Music owner Peter Bolos said, "It'd be a problem for anyone if consumer spending slows down. I just think that if Christmas business slows down for us, it's not a make or break situation."

Some smaller retailers, like Big Apple Music, say it won't be a problem for them either way because they can move and adapt like big businesses can't. But retailers may not have much to worry about anyway.

Regardless of what economists are saying, consumers say Furby and the Amazing Spider-Man will always in out in the war over their wallets over Congress.

"I want the kids to be happy. It's all about the kids always, obviously," shopper Philip Lamonda said.

Gilbert expressed similar sentiments, saying, "I'm going to spend my money the best way that I can for my kids."

So if we're going over fiscal cliff on January 1st, the cuts and tax hikes don't look like they'll cut in on the happy holidays.

The report also urges Congress to act quickly on the fiscal cliff, warning of another possible recession if they fail to reach a deal. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP