What Obama's Victory Means for Consumers

The fiscal cliff is an immediate threat, but future spending cuts could hit teachers, soldiers.

President Obama's next four years may affect some ways in which students and families pay for higher education.
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Other public employees may be facing harder times. In the American Jobs Act passed in 2011, Obama included $30 billion to help teachers stay employed as state coffers shrunk. At the time, it was meant as a stopgap measure, but Obama has included an additional $25 billion in his 2013 budget to save teachers' jobs. In the past, Republicans have fought against these measures, and the $25 billion for 2013 will be on the table during fiscal cliff negotiations.

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Signs of compromise. The day after the election, House Majority Leader John Boehner said Republicans would work with Democrats to avoid the fiscal cliff. It was arguably his most conciliatory comment in years.

"The American people this week didn't give us a mandate to do the 'simple' thing. They elected us to lead. They gave us a mandate to work together to do the best thing for our country," Boehner said.

But Grove City's Ritenour says talk like this can't be trusted. "Neither set of politicians really understands the dire situation we're in," he says. "No one has any idea of what's gong to happen next."