Pre or post-yearend doesn't matter. Continuing resolutions extend many policies when agreements aren't reached. Before Congress adjourns, grand plan resolution won't happen.
Expect talks to end by kicking the can down the road. Temporary resolution will likely be reached. More time will be bought. Major issues will be delayed for 2013 Q I and later discussions.
Endgame intentions are clear. Crisis conditions fester. Ordinary Americans will suffer most. Both parties prioritize making them pay for dire conditions predatory bankers caused.
A December 27 Washington Post editorial headlined "Avoid the 'fiscal cliff,' " saying:
Democrats and Republicans remain "at loggerheads." America "faces a harmful and gratuitous economic shock that would be inflicted by its own leaders."
Both sides share blame. Before January 1, expect nothing more than stopgap legislation. Passage will avoid "disaster."
Obama and Congress have days left to agree. Failure would "abdicat(e) their responsibility to the nation."
WP, NYT, and other major media consumers have no idea what's going on. Scoundrel editors, commentators, and staff writers don't tell them.