A scary new world of higher taxes, reduced spending and austerity politics.” That’s what many say is in store if Congress and President Obama cannot come to an agreement on what to do about expiring tax cuts and sequestration, aka the fiscal cliff.

The president released his plan for averting the fiscal cliff yesterday, which includes proposals for new spending that Democrats say is essential to stimulating the economy. Many Republicans in Congress, on the other hand, want to see entitlement reform and a pledge not to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.  Some reports, however, say that there are Republican members of Congress who want their party to be a little more flexible on taxes.

Round 1 ends in stalemate. Meanwhile, the New York Times provides us with a reality check on tax rates, showing that for all but the lowest income people, tax rates have decreased in the last 20 years.  And in The Nation, we read about the very real consequences of sequestration for people living in poverty. When you’re already standing at the edge of your own personal fiscal cliff, it doesn’t take much to push you over the edge.

What do you think of President Obama’s proposal? Do you think the president and Congress will come to agreement in time? Tell us what you think in the comments.