Count me among those who are hoping that no deal is struck before New Years, and that we actually do go over the fiscal cliff curb. No, I don't particularly want all those automatic spending cuts—I mean, that's just a stupid way to govern—and I'd rather not raise taxes on middle class families in the midst of such a weak recovery. But either would be preferable to caving to the Republicans demand that we extend the Bush tax cuts on those earning over $250,000 a year.
The truth is, the negative economic impact of missing the deadline would only accrue gradually, and with the Bush tax cuts expired, Democrats would be in a much stronger political position to renew them just for the middle class. Remember, voting for a deal that raises taxes on millionaires would violate the no-tax pledge that so many GOPers have made. But voting for a deal that renews tax cuts for the middle class after they've expired, is voting for a tax cut. Same result, but no pledge broken!
Yes, the Republican-controlled House can still hold a gun to the head of the debt limit, but once we hop over the cliff, that's the only card that they really have left to play. And Americans will know exactly who to blame for a government shutdown.
So yeah, unless you get a deal that raises the debt limit, protects social security, and eliminates the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, jump over that cliff, Mr. President! This is one instance where Nietzsche was right: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And Dems will be in a much stronger negotiating position on the other side of that so-called cliff.