LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Even on Christmas Eve, the U.S. economy is moving closer and closer to the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

And some shoppers acknowledged, they’ve cut back on holiday spending amid predictions it could trigger a new recession along with higher taxes and sharp spending cuts.

“We spend just what we need to spend and we buy just what we have to buy,” one shopper told CBS2’s Dave Bryan.

If that attitude grows among consumers and a deal isn’t struck, some experts fear this Christmas shopping season could be the last gasp for the recovery from the last recession.

And now the fingers are already pointing with some conservative Republicans answering their own question about who’s responsible.

“Does the President want to take us over the cliff? I think he does. And the reason is he needs an excuse for the next four years of failure. Blaming it on Bush doesn’t work very much,” Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, said.

Bryan reports that President Obama is in Hawaii where he’ll spend Christmas with his family after attending the funeral of Hawaii Senator Daniel Inoyue this weekend. The trip marks the President’s first real vacation in about a year.

Also in Hawaii this weekend for the funeral was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who CBS News reports is working on a smaller settlement package than the comprehensive package which the President and House Speaker John Boehner were trying to hammer out.

That package fell apart late last week when some Republicans in the House refused to support Boehner’s own Plan-B.

Bryan says the Reid plan would reportedly prevent tax rates from rising for the middle class and impose limited spending cuts, but Senator Reid has not been in touch with Republicans about this plan.

President Obama is expected to return to Washington D.C. later this week to deal with the “fiscal cliff” crisis.


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