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PHOENIX -- A Valley economist said Friday political arrogance is jeopardizing the nation's economy.

Arizonans will be shelling out much more in taxes and the state could lose 50,000 jobs if Congress can't get its act together on a budget by Jan. 1.

That's just the beginning, according to economist Jim Rounds with Elliott D. Pollack and Company in Scottsdale.

"They need to get something done," he said. "If Congress can't reach a deal before Christmas then right after Christmas they need to get their butts back in Washington DC and get it done."

Rounds said there's no excuse for Congress and the president being unable to reach a compromise. Rounds said a deal could be hammered out in about two hours and the two sides are not that far apart.

"Set the income level for increased taxes at $500,000. Do the cuts and phase them in over five years -- you're done. No recession next year and the economy is in better shape for it. The economics and common sense should be simple at this point."

Rounds said he believes a deal will be in place by the deadline to keep the country going off the cliff.

"But you get these idiots together and they're doing it for a standoff with no real reason," he said.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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