Fiscal Cliff 2013 explained: Obama, Republicans fiddle as economy burns


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President Obama has cut his trip to Hawaii short to meet with congressional leaders in hopes of a last-minute effort to avoid the upcoming "fiscal cliff".

President Obama and congressional leaders have until January 1, 2013 to find a solution to the looming fiscal cliff deadlock. January 1, 2013 marks the expiration of the 2010 Tax Relief Act, meaning an increase in taxes. The first of the year also is the start-date for spending cuts related to the Budget Control Act of 2011, or the act the brought a conclusion to the debt ceiling crises.

So far, no one has been able to come up with an agreement to avoid pushing the country over this metaphorical "fiscal cliff." Most discussions have involved extending the Bush tax cuts or amending the Budget Control Act of 2011, but the danger of increasing America's deficit through reduced taxes and increased spending has made it difficult for the U.S. government to reach a decision.

Both Republicans and Democrats are pointing fingers at each other as to why there hasn't been an agreement. This afternoon Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boeher, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and others will congregate in the White House.

There is still hope America's leaders will be able to strike a deal and avoid the fiscal cliff, but whether this will happen by January 1, 2013 is doubtful.
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