NEW YORK ( CNBC) - " Fiscal Cliff" is a term you'll be hearing much more often between now and the end of the year. That's when a half-trillion dollars worth of tax cuts and spending boosts go by the wayside, possibly dragging the U.S. economy into the abyss of another recession. That, however, is the worst-case scenario. A more likely outcome, according to those who have studied the issue closely, is that Washington officials come up with a way to extend many of the items in question before automatic tax increases and spending cuts kick in that could choke the life out of the already-stumbling recovery. Global policy makers have done it during the financial crisis of 2008, the U.S. budget imbroglio in 2011, and throughout the European sovereign debt disaster.
By Jeff Cox, CNBC.com Senior Writer
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