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(AP) - WHAT IS THE `FISCAL CLIFF': A package of tax increases and spending cuts that takes effect in January unless Congress passes a budget deal by then.

WHO IS AFFECTED: Everyone who pays income tax- and some who don't _will feel it. Middle-income families would have to pay an average of about $2,000 more next year, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has calculated.

HIT TO GROWTH: Up to 3.4 million jobs would be lost, the Congressional Budget Office estimates. The unemployment rate would rise to 9.1 percent. The economy would likely fall into recession next year, the CBO says.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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