Fiscal cliff event outside Ribble's office

APPLETON — Standing on the edge of College Avenue, a group of demonstrators is hoping its chants and ideas will reach Washington.

“The Democrats are Republicans need to work together on a big, big scale this time,” said Fred Haney of Green Bay.

Haney is a disabled veteran, worried about potential cuts to Social Security and Medicare as part of a long-term solution to the country’s federal deficit.

“If they take it away, then I lose everything,” said Haney.

It's why he decided to join members of the Democratic-leaning AFL-CIO and Wisconsin Jobs Now outside Republican Representative Reid Ribble's office. The group hopes to persuade Ribble to vote for tax increases for the wealthy as part of a plan to avoid the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’.

“They need to pay a little more and help this country get back on its feet,” said Haney.

Ribble wasn't the only lawmaker to have visitors.

In Milwaukee, concerns were voiced outside the offices of Republican Senator Ron Johnson and retiring Democratic Senator Herb Kohl.

Kohl says he will only vote for a deficit plan that increases tax rates for higher income earners, while Johnson says it isn't enough.

“That doesn't even come close to fixing the problem,” said Johnson.

We have to come up with entitlement reform, no question about it if we're going to reduce our deficit, and our long-term debt,” said Kohl.

As for Ribble, he was traveling on Monday and wasn't able to be reached for an interview. However, his staff provided demonstrators with a letter from the congressman. In the letter, Ribble says, “Like you, I believe that Washington needs to set partisanship aside and work together at solving our nation’s problems, not just push and shove to get a political goal.”

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