OPEN YOUR PARACHUTES: We’re Going over the Fiscal Cliff

Despite word that Republicans and Democrats had reached a tentative deal to head off the Fiscal Cliff, Congress is now not expected to complete a vote today before the midnight deadline — at which an automatic combination of widespread tax increases and spending cuts is set to take effect.

This includes tax increases for every working American and the end of extended unemployment benefits for some 2 million out-of-work Americans.

The news comes shortly after President Obama’s lighthearted press conference, in which he challenged Congress to take action on the emergency deal on the table — which addressed tax hikes but failed to address spending.

Marked by jokes and laughter, the president’s comments angered Republicans with both their tone — chiding Congress — and substance — indicating he’ll want future tax increases on top of those included in the current deal:

Now, if Republicans think that I will finish the job of deficit reduction through spending cuts alone … If they think that’s going to be the formula for how we solve this thing, then they’ve another thing coming. … And if we’re serious about deficit reduction and debt reduction, then it’s going to have to be a matter of shared sacrifice. At least as long as I’m president.

Now, with no vote before midnight, the Fiscal Cliff takes effect and lawmakers will be working to reverse it, not prevent it.

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