John Boehner is on the right track. Passing an extension of the Bush tax cuts for as many people as possible is the best that can be accomplished at this point. The main virtue of Boehner's plan is that the Republicans are not tied to a deal with this approach. If Republicans agree to a tax hike deal and essentially no spending cuts -- the Obama approach -- then they will have nothing to run on in 2014. By committing themself to an extension of the Bush tax cuts for almost everyone, they are able to maintain their anti-tax posture.
Let the Senate turn it down. Let Obama veto it. No harm done.
Going over the cliff puts the issue of our looming national insolvency front and center. It is about time.
It is true that national defense is sacrificed and economic growth is probably jeopardized, but it would be anyway giving the current trajectory.
There is no time like the present to face what needs to be faced. Lets get on with it.