The Congressional Budget Office has issued a stark warning that failure to avert the "fiscal cliff" will send the U.S. into a recession and drive joblessness up to 9.1% by the end of 2013. The nonpartisan CBO said the combined effects of higher taxes and reduced federal spending would cause the economy to contract by 0.5% next year and warned that the U.S. can't afford to allow its debt burden to continue growing.

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