House Speaker John Boehner, seen last week, discusses the looming fiscal cliff. Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

A Marine Corp F-35B Joint Strike Fighter lands at Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland in 2011. Analysts say that if mandatory Pentagon budget cuts are imposed next year, fewer new planes could ultimately be ordered. Cliff Owen/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Cliff Owen/AP

The Social Security tax rate is scheduled to revert to 6.2 percent next year, up from the temporary reduction — to 4.2 percent on an employee's first $110,000 in wages — which has been in effect since January 2011. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com

President George W. Bush signs tax cut legislation on June 7, 2001. The cuts from this and a subsequent bill are set to expire at the end of 2012. Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Stephen Jaffe/AFP/Getty Images

Josh Walling and Randi Cartmill with their children, Jacqueline, Josh and Ryan. Josh Walling says his family, whose household income is below the national median, would lose a substantial amount of money if the Bush tax cuts expired. Courtesy of Randi Cartmill hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Randi Cartmill