Tax cuts expire and huge spending cuts kick in in about a week. That's how 2013 will begin, unless Washington can reach an agreement on what's being called the fiscal cliff.
Lack of progress and hardening positions are causing skepticism as the clock continues to tick toward the new year. If there is no deal, a family making $50,000 to $75,000 dollars could see their taxes go up by $2,400 per year. In turn, businesses are likely to suffer, and that could cost the nation millions of jobs.
Hurricane Sandy has cut into sales in the northeast and mid-atlantic, costing more retail jobs. Then, there is the school shooting in Connecticut. Retail experts said the consumer mood is dampened, and Americans are thinking twice about their holiday spending.
So, is Lubbock following the rest of the nation?
"It's one of those deals, I'm going to worry about it after the first of the year. I'm not going to let it ruin our family time or worry about money at this point."
"I'm good. I've already done my spending. Me, my daughter and my niece are just walking around doing nothing, looking. So, that's it, it didn't bother me not one bit."
One look around will tell you Lubbock often defies economic trends.
"The parking lot's been full. Our retailers are all reporting a positive outlook in their sales, and things are looking good. So, it's been a busy place to be."
From her position at the South Plains Mall, Ashley Knox has watched the traffic looking for trends.
"I'd say since Black Friday, that's the kickoff to all holiday shopping, traffic has continued to just grow," Knox said. "And probably Thursday through today it's our absolute busiest time of the year, it's, 'Get out here and get all of your holiday shopping done.'"
As Lubbock continues to grow, Knox said there is a different attitude among the community.
"We're expanding, and things appear to be going well out here community-wide," Knox said.
And the economy may continue to grow, including more retail spending, unless Washington decides to go over the cliff.