The Congressional Budget Office issued a stark warning that heading off the "fiscal cliff" would send the U.S. into a second 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 spending would cause the economy to contract 0.5% next year, and warned that the U.S. can't afford to allow its debt burden to grow much longer.

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