By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – If we do fall off the fiscal cliff, tax hikes, program cuts and layoffs will come.

The political fallout would be just as dire.

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For someone.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Joe Mathieu reports

We’re just not sure who or which party.

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If it happens, get ready for an epic round of the blame game.

Somebody will point the finger at someone.

“The American people will point it at the Republicans,” says Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh, a WBZ NewsRadio 1030 political analyst.

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“Look at the polls. Overwhelmingly already they’re blaming the Republicans if the country goes off the fiscal cliff, it’s the Republicans’ fault. And I can promise you that President Obama would rather go off the cliff than take a bad deal. He’s not going to have to take a bad deal because public opinion overwhelmingly will be against the Republicans.”

WBZ Republican political analyst Gene Hartigan says not so fast.

“I disagree. I think that the Democrats were doing fine until double-speak happened and that was when both (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid and others within the Democratic Party stepped forward and said we need to get the tax increases, not revenue, tax increases, that’s what they are, before the end of the year and then we’ll look at entitlements down the road. Until we start looking at how much money we’re spending as a nation, we cannot get anything under control.

So I think the Republicans do have some leverage and that is they have to hold the president’s feet to the fire to lead and to walk away from this with both entitlement reform and new taxes.”

Of course, we won’t know until and unless that happens.

But Americans will demand an explanation.

We’ve got one month to find out. will have an expert on call for a live Q&A Monday through Friday from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. to answer your questions about the fiscal cliff.

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The series “Inside the Fiscal Cliff” airs all week at 5 and 11 p.m. on WBZ-TV and at 5:55 a.m., 8:55 a.m., 12:21 p.m., and 4:55 p.m. on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.