Clock ticks down on fiscal cliff

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The U.S. Senate reconvenes this morning with just a few hours left to avert the “fiscal cliff” crisis.

There is still no sign of an agreement to extend the Bush tax cuts.

The sticking point is President Obama’s demand that the tax cuts for wealthier Americans be eliminated.

Congressional Democrats are offering to impose the tax hike on people earning more than $450,000 a year; that’s $200,000 more than the president’s income threshold.

Congressional Republicans say no one’s taxes should be raised while the economy is still so weak; and each party blames the other for the impasse.

In the absence of a last-minute compromise, all taxpaying Americans will see their federal withholding increase starting tomorrow; a typical household will see about a $40-per-week reduction in take-home pay.

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