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Fiscal Cliff Could Deflate North Texas' Growing Economy

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North Texas members of Congress headed back to Washington Thursday.  The Senate's first official agenda does not include the fiscal cliff, even though the deadline to avoid automatic budget cuts and tax hikes is Jan. 1.

At the University of North Texas, economist Terry Clower says cuts to the defense budget could pack a punch in North Texas.

"We are well blessed with having several large defense contractors: Lockheed, Bell Helicopter and those folks," Clower says. "That is where we might see some effect that would be a little different than everybody else. But broadly speaking, this is going to affect North Texas.”

Clower says a return to higher social security taxes and an increase in income tax rates would mean less disposable income.  And he says that could slow the relatively robust North Texas economy.