American consumers and businesses will pay much higher taxes next year if a package of tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" takes effect as scheduled Jan. 1.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the measures would push the economy into recession and drive the unemployment rate to 9.1 percent next year. The rate is now 7.9 percent.
Below are the main elements. The estimated dollar figures are for calendar year 2013:
The tax increases wouldn't affect everyone equally, though all taxpayers would pay more. Here are the average increases for people at different income levels:
- Budget, Tax & Economy
- Politics & Government
- Congressional Budget Office