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Nuts, bolts and nuance of the 'Fiscal Cliff' deal & debacle

by AirTalk®

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US President Barack Obama delivers a statement late January 1, 2013 at the White House in Washington DC. Obama said he had fulfilled a campaign promise to make the US tax system fairer with a deal to avert the fiscal cliff crisis that passed after a fierce duel in Congress. At left is US Vice President Joe Biden. CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images

The freefall over the fiscal cliff only lasted for one day. Late last night, the House of Representatives passed a deal from the Senate to avoid what many economists predicted would be a devastating blow to the stock market, global economy and a United States which is still limping out of recession. In today’s hyper-partisan world of politics, it’s no surprise that it wasn’t easy to get Republicans on board with President Obama’s plan.

However, what might be more interesting is that this issue has exposed rifts within the Republican party itself, thanks mainly to the influence and voting power of the conservative Tea Party. This rift exposed itself even in top Republican leadership, as Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and Chairman of the Budget Committee Paul Ryan (R-WI) voted for the fiscal deal, while House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) voted against it.

But analysts are far more concerned about the looming debt ceiling fight which will take place come February. That’s when the real fireworks are expected to go off between the two parties, and surely within them as well. But what about the average American citizen? Politicians may have won or lost depending on what they wanted from this deal, but it’s the taxpayers of this country who are actually affected by it.

How will this deal affect the middle class? What about those who rely on entitlement programs? And does this deal really add up to make any noticeable dent in the country’s deficit?


Dan Gorenstein, Marketplace reporter

Tom McClintock, Republican Congressman representing California’s 4th District and a member of the House Committee on the Budget. The 4th District represents portions of northern California, including Lassen, Butte and Sacramento counties

Adam Schiff
, Democratic Congressman for the 29th District, which includes Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, Glendale, Griffith Park, Monterey Park, Pasadena,  San Gabriel, South Pasadena, Temple City

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