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President Barack Obama, accompanied by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, speaks Friday to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. President Barack Obama's re-election has stiffened Democrats' spine against cutting popular benefit programs like Medicare and Social Security. Their new resolve could become as big a hurdle to reaching a deal for skirting economy-crippling tax increases and spending cuts in January as Republicans' resistance raising tax rates on the wealthy.

'Fiscal cliff' a dangerous dive for North Dakota: State ranks No. 6 in the nation for the impact of tax hikes

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FARGO -- A North Dakota family of four earning $84,896 could pay $4,825 more in taxes in 2013 than they did in 2011 if Congress and President Barack Obama take the nation into a running leap off the so-called "fiscal cliff."

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