1. FISCAL CLIFF

    Obama: Tax Increases a Must

    WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 03:  U.S. President Barack Obama leaves after he addressed the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) symposium December 3, 2012 at the National Defense University in Washington, DC. Obama spoke on the 20th anniversary of the CTR program which was established to secure and dismantle weapons of mass destruction and their associated infrastructure in former Soviet Union states." Obama also warned President Assad of Syria not to use chemical weapons against his people.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    Alex Wong / Getty Images

    Cue the conservative handwringing. President Obama reiterated Tuesday that any deal made to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff must include tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. "What I'm going to need...is an acknowledgment that folks like me can pay a little bit higher rate," the president said, adding that he’s also willing to entertain entitlement reforms. The White House and House Republicans have presented competing plans to bring down the debt, arguing the government must close loopholes to raise revenue, but not raise taxes on the country’s top earners.

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