‘Fiscal cliff’ threat looms now that election is over

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Now that President Barack Obama has won re-election, the marine industry will be watching to see how he proposes to deal with the so-called "fiscal cliff" - a $600 billion mix of tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year and federal spending cuts that would take effect Jan. 2.

Failure to prevent a dive off the cliff could rattle U.S. markets and push the economy into a recession, which could have global implications, Reuters said in a post-election report.

Obama, who defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Tuesday, will want to strike a deal with Washington lawmakers before Dec. 31 or risk a recession in the first half of next year, budget experts and Democratic aides say.

Obama and most Democrats are at odds with Republicans in Congress over the stickiest issue — whether to let low tax rates for the wealthiest Americans expire on Dec. 31.

The president and most Democrats want to raise taxes on income earned above $250,000; Republicans want to extend the current low rates for all income levels.

Financial markets and the business community crave long-term certainty and that is what a major deal envisioned by Obama is intended to tackle.

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