President Obama is still hopeful he can reach a deal with the Republicans to avoid the fiscal cliff. I fear he may be too optimistic (although I hope I am wrong).The problem is the Republicans didn't win the presidential elections and are still furious. See how some responded after they lost. A black man from another party, their enemy, won the elections, that while he hardly achieved anything during his first term in office (according to them). They blocked so much that he wanted to do, and still he won (maybe that is why people voted for Mr Obama, because the Republicans were unreasonable when they blocked almost everything from the president).
I fear the Republicans may have decided they no longer will make compromises. Many people may think the opposite, that the Republicans will be more willing to work together with the president as their opposition in the past didn't help them. I think they will become even harder and will no longer grant President Obama any "victory" (although maybe they love their country so much that they agree a solution).
When no agreement is reached before January, then mainly the poor will suffer. For instance, 2 million Americans will loose their federal unemployment benefits while 125 million households would have their pay cut by up to $1,000 a year as payroll taxes rise by 2% while also low-income families and single mothers will suffer according to the Guardian (29/12/2012). Later other people will start feeling their punishment.
Because it may be a punishment for not electing a Republican as president. And President Obama will be blamed for not being able to reach a deal and thus he will be regarded as a bad president, confirming black people are unable to run a country (many Republicans and certainly Tea Party members are racists who do not accept a mixed-race president and do anything in their power to make his presidency a failure so for the next decades no-one want another president than a white one).
But also God in involved and that is the biggest worry. Many of those Tea Party members believe Jesus (or one of them) will return (or will be chosen) and they hope they can be part of it. They always talk about Revelations because they want that to happen so they can rule this planet (read their websites, maybe they also use the madbook "Protocols ..." as a guidebook).
For instance, after the killing of 20 children and some adults at Sandy Hook school, not only the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution is used to prevent stricter weapon laws, but also God. While some blame the mental health system, videogames or "feminisation" of the classroom for the shooting, the former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee blamed the absence of religious prayer in schools (Guardian, 22/12/2012) and thus not the presence of too many weapons in society.
Other examples: after hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans, many religious people spoke about a punishment of God because of the sinful city (i.e. people play music and accepts others). They preached the same after the earthquake in Haiti.
Indeed, if you want to understand what is going on in the USA (and elsewhere in the world), then you have to accept powerful forces of the past are loosing control and these people include gods, whether you like it or not because religion gave them the power in the past to rule over others.
That doesn't mean you have to do the evil those people preach (e.g. what is the difference between bin Laden preaching against sinful cities and Christians preaching against sinful cities (= where blacks are free and gay people accepted (more in general the gentle nature of humans)?). But if they repeat those stories long enough, maybe people start to believe them, certainly when those who preach them pretend to care for the poor by giving them food as long as they become members and follow their teaching (as extremists do in many countries) although many people accept their preachings out of free will.
If you understand why certain people behave in a certain way, then you have to argue with them at their level. Not by denying the existence of god(s) as that will make them even more determined to prove the opposite. That is one reason why I write so much about religion (although I like to place the stories in another light and in a historical context as I see those stories within a certain context while many may disagree). But I fear many can't be stopped. President Obama prays to God but then they claim the president is not sincere or a Muslim.
I think the only way for President Obama is to mention over and over again what he wants to do and why he doesn't want to follow the way the Republicans are suggesting, although mentioning the compromises he made to show he does accept some solutions of the Republicans. Then the Republicans have to explain in detail what their plan is. Then people can notice for themselves who is blocking the agreements and decide who is right or wrong.