How to Avoid the Fiscal Cliff

A combination of spending, tax reform and government cuts that both Democrats and Republicans can love

Illustration by Oliver Munday for TIME

The problem of the so-called fiscal cliff is a self-inflicted one: it was designed to be problematic. Republicans and Democrats intended its automatic tax hikes and spending cuts to be so unpalatable that they'd be forced to make a long-term deficit-reduction deal before January 2013 in order to avoid them. But they have not yet cut a deal, so they're dragging all of us toward the cliff they built for themselves.

The debate over the cliff has been drenched in apocalyptic rhetoric about America's becoming Greece, so most of the public assumes going over it would explode our trillion-dollar budget deficit....

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