What is the 'fiscal cliff?'

POSTED: 11:50 AM Nov 09 2012   UPDATED: 8:28 AM Dec 31 2012

Confused by all this talk of a "fiscal cliff" and what it means to you? As lawmakers in Washington try to beat tonight's deadline, here are some answers.

Obama and Boehner
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Larry Downing / Reuters

What happens if no deal is reached? -- If a deal is not reached between the White House and lawmakers, spending cuts will begin to take effect and tax breaks will expire, which both sides argue will push the U.S. economy off the "cliff" and possibly into another recession.


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