Alan Krueger, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, warns that consumer spending will drop if Congress and the White House fail to reach a deal on spending cuts and tax increases. Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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American soldiers Kris Kuntz (left) and Hayley Barner in Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, last October. Tauseef Mustafa /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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The USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier, near Hong Kong last month. Aaron Tam/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Aaron Tam/AFP/Getty Images