What is the fiscal cliff?

(CNN) — There's a lot of talk in Washington about the "fiscal cliff," but what is it, exactly?

In real terms, it's the $7 trillion in spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to go into effect the beginning of January.

After President Barack Obama and members of Congress failed to agree on how to reduce the U.S. debt last year, they sent the Jan. 1, 2013 deadline last year.

Financial analysis are concerned that if there is no agreement before the end of the year, the U.S. economy will be further crippled and unemployment will rise.

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