Accepting a second term, President Obama looked to the horizon with a view for where he wants to take the country in the next four years -- but at the moment that horizon extends only as far as December 31st -- the date of the so-called fiscal cliff.
Accepting a second term, President Obama looked to the horizon with a view for where he wants to take the country in the next four years -- but at the moment that horizon extends only as far as December 31st -- the date of the so-called fiscal cliff. - 
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President Obama laid out some of his plans for where he wants to take the country in the next four years -- but with the fiscal cliff looming, those plans can only be so firm.

Can the president work together with Congress to steer clear of the so-called fiscal cliff -- avoiding the automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to kick in at the end of the year?

Analysts worry the U.S. risks plunging into recession if a budget deal is not reached.

Chris Low of FTN Financial has one theory of how Congress and the president might work together: "What they have to do, what we're hoping to see in the next couple of months, is a deal where they agree to do budget reform, they agree to do tax reform, they agree to work on it over the next year, and then they postpone all these [tax] increases that are coming in at the same time."

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Follow David Gura at @davidgura