1) Let me tell it like it is: Things are tough and they're going to get tougher.
2) Let me tell it like it is: Things are tough and they're going to be tougher.
They are different. The verb "get" is a verb of process that suggests the gradual adoption or acquisition of a certain condition. The verb "be" denotes a final condition. I prefer (1) because it combines the present tough situation with its gradual worsening (gradual change from tough to tougher).
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