The NYT has a nice piece pointing out that the notion of a "fiscal cliff" hitting the country at the end of the year is fundamentally wrong. The immediate impact of leaving the scheduled tax increases and spending cuts in place through the end of the year will be almost zero. As the piece points out, the dire projections of sharply slower growth or even a recession are not based on letting the December 31 deadline pass, but rather leaving the higher taxes and lower spending in place for the whole year. If Congress and the president were to reach an agreement in January or even February, the impact on the economy would be limited.

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