Now that the election is over, the No. 1 political buzzword in America is "fiscal cliff." And it's because Congress and President Obama are wrangling over a looming perfect storm of deadlines.
On Jan. 1, 2013, the George W. Bush-era tax cuts will expire and automatic federal spending cuts are simultaneously due to take effect -- as a result of a stalemate last year between Congress and the White House over how to reduce the budget deficit. The cuts and taxes that would result from going over this fiscal cliff would total $600 billion for next year. After a decade's time, the figure would come out to $7 trillion, which could result in rounds of cutbacks to programs such as unemployment insurance.
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