You can't turn on a news report without hearing references to the "fiscal cliff". Terrifying? Not so much, but still a real issue.
Quite frankly I don't think the Republicans have any intention of negotiating and a re perfectly willing to do a Thelma & Louise on January 1. Why? Because they can let the automatic lifting of the Bush tax cuts happen, the spending cuts and all, then they can pass a bill that cuts taxes for the middle class and still say they didn't raise taxes. They cut them!
Pretzel logic for sure, but the GOP excels at that. They can pass legislation to restore the military spending and claim they were defending the nation. More pretzel logic.
When this happens, and I do believe it is a "when" not an "if", the Democrats in Congress need to make it abundantly clear that it is the GOP 's fault. They need to control the narrative and not let the Republicans play their semantic game.
I suspect President Obama is already working on a speech that will lay out the facts for the American people in a way that makes it abundantly clear who is at fault for this mess.
In the long run it wont hurt us much, unless the stock market gets neurotic and starts kicking in some automatic selling programs. Oh and then there is the debt ceiling.... The Chinese curse is coming true, "may you live in interesting times."