Fiscal cliff standoff continues

Fiscal cliff standoff continues

New York Times: Both parties are arguing over the size of the down payment, which is critical. Republicans and Democrats alike worry that canceling roughly $600 billion in deficit-reducing tax increases and spending cuts next year might spook financial markets.

For all the growing angst over the state of negotiations to head off a fiscal crisis in January, the parties are farthest apart on a relatively small part of the overall deficit reduction program — the down payment.

President Obama and the House speaker, John A. Boehner, are in general agreement on the overarching issue: that the relevant Congressional committees must sit down next year and work out changes to the tax code and entitlement programs to save well more than $1 trillion over the next decade.

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