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Fiscal cliff could affect UT employees sooner

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University of Texas employees could see fiscal cliff effects sooner than most if Congress and President Obama do not reach a deal by December 20.

If that deadline passes, their paychecks would be cut by 2%.

University of Texas research assistant John O'Brian lives paycheck to paycheck.

"Right now I'm paid by UT for my graduate work," O'Brian said. "The thing is I'm personally barely making ends meet I'm really just paid enough to live day by day."

Lately O'Brian has been watching Washington to see if lawmakers will resolve the fiscal cliff dispute. If a deal is not struck soon, taxes will go up once the Bush era tax cuts expire.

O'Brian and thousands of other UT employees could see 2% cut from their paychecks on December 20.

Brian Smith, a political science professor at St. Edward's University said both parties have been stalling because of politics.

"When you look at it, it's just not the payroll tax, social security tax, there's deductions a whole lot of stuff that's set to expire because no one wanted to take care of the issue during a presidential election and no one wanted to take the blame," Smith said.

For O'Brian, he hopes the politicians will strike a deal so he doesn't have to cut back even more.

"Congress needs to cooperate and come to a deal that's reasonable for the majority of Americans because in reality the people that get hurt the most get paid the least," O'Brian said.

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