Fiscal Cliff: Top leaders speak out

“If we right away say 98 percent of Americans are not going to see their taxes go up—97 percent of small businesses are not going to see their taxes go up. If we get that in place, we're actually removing half of the fiscal cliff” - Barack Obama, US President, urged Congress to extend expiring tax cuts, on CNBC

“Our country needs a bipartisan solution for the 'fiscal cliff' that promotes jobs and economic growth now, and avoids damage to a still fragile economy” - Alan Mulally, CEO, Ford Motor Company, to Reuters

“Under current law, on January 1, 2013, there's going to be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases. I hope that Congress will look at that and figure out ways to achieve the same long-run fiscal improvement without having it all happen at one date” - Ben Bernanke, US Federal Reserve Chairman

“We’re not going to permanently cripple ourselves. We have a very resilient economy. The fact that [lawmakers] can't get along for the month of January is not going to torpedo the economy” - Warren Buffett, founder, Berkshire Hathaway, on CNN

“There will be a recession and probably a pretty deep one… The cliff would be a self-induced austerity crisis” - Neil Irwin, Reporter, in Washington Post

“What I am not going to do is extend further a tax cut for folks that don't need it, which would cost close to a trillion dollars. It's very difficult to see how you make up that trillion dollars, if we're serious about deficit reduction, just by closing loopholes and deductions. The math tends not to work” - Barack Obama, US President, in The Telegraph

“This country (US) must show the world we can be fiscally responsible. Both sides of the aisle need to get to work if we are to overcome our current economic challenges. Business and capital hate uncertainty, and the reality is that our current political impasses are creating precisely that” - Andrew Liveris, CEO, Dow Chemical, on

“If the fiscal cliff does happen, that’s a failure of governance, and that’s something we shouldn’t expect” - Jeffrey Immelt, CEO and Chairman, General Electric, on

“If the last debt ceiling discussion was playing with fire, this time they’re playing with nitroglycerin. It’s important to recognize that the stakes have gone up across the board when you combine the debt ceiling with the fiscal cliff” - Dave Cote, CEO and Chairman, Honeywell International,

“If we solve both the short-run fiscal cliff and the longer-run fiscal issues, I personally think if we do that, the economy can boom” - Jamie Dimon, CEO, JP Morgan Chase, on CNBC

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What is fiscal cliff?

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