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Flashpoints in fiscal cliff negotiations

President Obama and lawmakers must overcome significant hurdles over several issues to reach a budget and tax deal, including:

 Taxes: Obama insists on increasing taxes on upper-income earners, raising the rates paid on family income over $250,000 with a boost in the top rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. GOP leaders vow to block any increase in rates but say they could support revenue increases as part of a tax reform plan that curbs deductions and uses the resulting revenue to both lower rates and defray the deficit. That approach, however, is opposed by many Tea Party GOP conservatives who have signed a pledge to oppose any tax increase.

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