(KCEN) -- Three days until the fiscal cliff which means tax hikes on everyone and automatic spending cuts.
And although there is no deal just yet the two parties are talking again.
It's a positive sign.
The first meeting since mid November of the four congressional leaders, democrats and republicans at the white house called by President Obama.
House speaker John Boehner the key figure.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer says, "The fact that he's come back and the four of them are at the table means to me that we can come up with some kind of agreement."
Both sides want a deal to avoid tax hikes that could cost middle class families $2,400 if that rate lasts all of next year.
The hang-up is still tax hikes on the rich.
Which of the rich to tax more? Those making over $250 thousand? The Obama proposal or $400 thousand.
A level Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly said he might be able to sell.
But republicans want the debate shifted.
Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander says, "All the talk is about taxes. What the talk should be about what we wanna talk about today and that's the Medicare fiscal cliff."
No way to cut a deal by Tuesday to reform entitlements and some say that's good.
According to GOP Economic Advisor Edward Lazear, "If we do something right now that has long lasting adverse effects on economic growth that will cost us for a very long time."
But, with a short time 'til the cliff Americans say, "Fix the tax problem."
Josh Moses of Washington, D.C. says, "At least handle the issues with uh taxes for the middle class get that done, and figure out the rest of it come January, worst case."
Worst case, say many is no deal on anything.
But some tea party republicans are said to be ready to let tax rates rise Tuesday..
Then fix the problem in a few days and say they voted to cut taxes.