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In a flurry of New Year's Day negotiating, Congress stepped back from the fiscal cliff with bi-partisan legislation that keeps Bush-era tax cuts in place for 99 percent of Americans. But the deal did not include spending cuts that Republicans had demanded and critics say it does nothing to address the nation's deeper, long-term fiscal problems, such as spending on entitlement programs. Guest host Sara Terry looks at what yesterday's deal accomplished and what's still ahead. Also, 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln signed one of the most important documents in US history. We look back at the Emancipation Proclamation.

Banner image: US Senate Minority Leader McConnell speaks to reporters on his way to the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Photo by Mary F. Calvert/Reuters

Making News What Does Fiscal Cliff Deal Do for the Economy? 7 MIN, 49 SEC

Financial markets responded positively today to the last-minute legislation passed by Congress yesterday to avert some of the nation's most pressing fiscal problems. Global markets in the US, Europe and Japan opened with an early rally. Sudeep Reddy is economics reporter with the Wall Street Journal.

Sudeep Reddy, Wall Street Journal (@Reddy)

Capital Offense

Michael Hirsh

Main Topic Hanging Ten on the Fiscal Cliff: Congress Pulls Back from the Edge 33 MIN, 41 SEC

It was down to the wire on Capitol Hill yesterday. In the end, lawmakers stepped back from the so-called fiscal cliff when the House voted to pass a Senate bill that increases taxes on households earning more than $450,000 and postpones $110 billion in spending cuts through the end of February. What's next on the agenda for dealing with the nation's fiscal challenges? Who compromised on what to reach the bipartisan plan? Is anyone actually happy about the deal? With fierce battles ahead, what happens to bipartisanship in the next rounds of fiscal wrestling?

Jonathan Weisman, New York Times (@jonathanweisman)
Jonathan Chait, New York magazine (@jonathanchait)
Jim Capretta, American Enterprise Institute (@aei)
Michael Hirsh, Politico Magazine (@michaelphirsh)

The Big Con

Jonathan Chait

Reporter's Notebook Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation Still Misunderstood 8 MIN, 54 SEC

On New Year's Day in 1863, with the nation in the middle of a civil war, Abraham Lincoln signed a document that has become known as one of the most important in American history. There's been debate about the Emancipation Proclamation over the years, and a good bit of fuzziness in the popular consciousness about what it did and didn't do, and just how much Lincoln himself was responsible for toppling the institution of slavery. Eric Foner is Professor of History at Columbia University and the author of The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, which won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 2011.

Eric Foner, Columbia University

The Fiery Trial

Eric Foner

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