Those at the bottom of the economic ladder have much to lose if the country faces automatic tax hikes and spending cuts -- particularly if there are cutbacks in many federal assistance programs. Congress missed its deadline to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff when the House put off any votes Monday evening, even as the president and congressional leaders said they were closing in on a deal. In Los Angeles, Mike O'Sullivan talked with people at a charitable food pantry about their fears.
Several European leaders have struck a downbeat tone in their end-of-year addresses - warning that further economic pain lies ahead in 2013. Added to the euro crisis is a fear that fiscal negotiations in the U.S. Congress could have a deep impact around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.