Derek Thompson notes that the fiscal cliff's tax additions would make our tax system more progressive:
[T]he top 1% — who earn more than the bottom 40% combined — would pay $100,000 or hundreds of thousands of dollars more to the IRS … and that's [one of the reasons] why even this do-nothing Congress will have to do something about taxes before January 2013. Democrats and Republicans don't agree on much. This is half a trillion dollars that nobody in Washington wants.
Stan Collender, meanwhile, explains why he puts the chances of a Grand Bargain at less than half:
It's becoming increasing understood inside the beltway that the fiscal cliff is really more of a fiscal slope and the U.S. economy won't actually come to an end on January 1, 2013. … If Obama is reelected, the Republican party is likely to move further to the right rather than to the middle and the fiscal cliff will be its first test after the election…. [And] the White House is far more likely to press the political advantages the fiscal cliff gives it on taxes and spending to get concessions from the GOP because this may be the only time it has this magnitude of leverage.