No one disputes the federal deficit has to be cut. The argument is when. And most economists say not now. Raising taxes, cutting spending, or both would threaten an already anemic recovery and push unemployment higher — or worse, economists said. The debate underway in Washington on how to avoid a so-called fiscal cliff echoes arguments made during the presidential campaign as President Obama and Congress try to negotiate a plan that will moderate spending cuts and extend some or all of the Bush-era tax cuts.
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