Newly re-elected President Obama returned to Washington from Chicago on Wednesday to launch negotiations between Republicans and Democrats in Congress to strike a deal to reduce the deficit and avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Fears that gridlock would prevent a deal sent stocks into a nosedive Wednesday. On Capitol Hill, leaders on both sides of the aisle promised flexibility to avoid triggering $600 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts at the end of the year, which economists warn would push the U.S. into another recession. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said Republicans, who have stood fast against proposals to raise taxes on the rich as part of a bipartisan debt-reduction package, are "willing to accept new revenues" out of a desire to "do what's best for our country." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said it was "better to dance than to fight."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How to be the star of a cocktail party where you don't know anyone
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- California's epic drought
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
Subscribe to the Week