Looming Challenge: 'Avert the Cliff'

But is anyone willing to compromise?

By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 7, 2012 8:00 AM CST

(Newser) – Election 2012, check. Next up: the "fiscal cliff." We're fewer than 60 days away from what could be one of the largest tax hikes in US history—as the clock ticks down, will anyone in Washington be willing to compromise? As the Washington Post explains, Democrats may be willing to go over the cliff despite the risks to the economy, because they could then draft their own tax-cut plan ... one that excludes the wealthy. Still, Obama's victory speech made it sound like he'd prefer bipartisanship in his next term.

How about Republicans? House Speaker John Boehner doesn't seem primed to budge. He last night said the fact that Republicans held on to their House majority means "the American people have ... made clear that there is no mandate for raising tax rates." (Though he later tweeted: "If there's a mandate, it's for parties to work together to help our economy grow.") One factor that could change everything, however: volatile markets.

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks at the election night party at McCormick Place, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago.
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks at the election night party at McCormick Place, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, meets with reporters as Congress prepares to shut down until after the elections in November, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, meets with reporters as Congress prepares to shut down until after the elections in November, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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