The term “fiscal cliff” has become a popular way to describe the combination of federal spending cuts and tax increases that automatically will go into effect if lawmakers cannot reach another agreement on how to manage the nation’s budget. People worry that a dive off the fiscal cliff would send the economy back into recession.

Some observers from the Philadelphia region commented on the looming crisis. Jere G. Thompson, a partner in Ballard Spahr’s Public Finance Department, noted: "[GOP leaders will be forced to come to some agreement] or we'll be just like Greece. Hopefully, Obama will take the mandate of this election and be a better leader and get it done. If the Republicans dig in their heels because they don't like all the negative things he said about their boy Mitt, they could put the country in real peril."

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