Debt ceiling debate is already a drag on the economy

FRESNO, California

"You could definitely say it's an artificial, manmade conflict as far as those things are concerned." Brown said.

This controversy over the debt ceiling and the budget deficit may well be a manufactured political crisis, but Brown believes it's already having an impact on the local economy.

"The bottom line is, this whole thing boils down to consumer confidence. Consumers businesses, business owners everybody's sitting back, waiting to see what the government is going to do."

And as a result, he says, consumers are afraid to spend, businesses are afraid to hire.

Deven Sharma of the credit rating agency Standard and Poor told a congressional hearing there is little time to act on the debt ceiling and the deficit. "There has to be a credible plan to reduce the debt burden, reduce the deficit level."

The political battle continues in Washington. Speaker John Boehner is trying to force fellow Republican's to back his two step plan to temporarily raise the debt ceiling and cut the budget by about a trillion dollars.

But Tea Party conservatives also want a balanced budget amendment. Speaking on the Senate Floor, Republican Senator John McCain says those Freshman Republicans are out of touch. "It's unfair. It's bizzaro and maybe some people who've been in this body six or seven months or so really believe it. "

Senate democrats have a more robust plan, to cut more than two trillion but it counts the savings of bringing troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Republicans don't want that part of the budget.

Polls show folks on the street like Derrell Miers of Fresno want both sides to give. "Probably no one's gonna be happy in the end but everybody will move, they have to solve it, default is too big of an issue."

A vote on plans to raise the debt ceiling and cut the budget could come Thursday. The question remains if it will be too little too late.

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