President Obama may have to skip the victory lap as experts warn of economic doomsday.
President Barack Obama's victory last night over Republican Mitt Romney comes with a sense of relief that the long, expensive and bitter campaign is over. But there's growing anxiety on both sides about the so-called "fiscal cliff" that is quickly looming on the horizon.
In just 49 days, if nothing is done by Congress and the President, $500 billion of spending cuts and tax increases will automatically be triggered that most experts say will plunge the United States back into recession.
"If you remove that much money from an economy, there's going to be some effect," said Ron Haskins, senior fellow in economic policy at the Brookings Institution.
Here's the deal on the fiscal cliff, how we got here, and what the solutions may be:
-- What is the fiscal cliff? Under an agreement reached by the two parties in 2011 to raise the debt ceiling, spending cuts would be triggered automatically if Congress could not come up with a plan to balance the budget. Congress hasn't, so the law will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.