As I have said on many occasions, the problem is not so much this overblown 'fiscal cliff' and 'debt crisis.' These are spurs to desired action from the status quo.
This is almost an exact replay of the Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, excepting of course that the US now has a manager rather than a leader.
The problem is the lack of reform of a system that is still given over to malfeasance, and remains badly out of balance.
Shifting the damage that has resulted from financial corruption on to the backs of the weak and the public in order to continue to pamper the predatory class is not the answer. It will only make things worse and at some point most likely tear open the social fabric.
A credibility trap occurs when the regulatory, political and informational functions of a society have been compromised by corruption and fraud, so that the leadership cannot effectively reform or even honestly address the situation without impairing and implicating, at least incidentally, a broad swath of the power structure, including themselves.
The status quo tolerates the corruption and the fraud because they have profited at least indirectly from it, and would like to continue to do so. Even relatively honest reformers within the power structure become susceptible to various forms of soft blackmail and coercion.
And so a failed policy and its support system become almost self-sustaining, long after it is seen by the people to have failed, and in failing becomes a counterproductive force on a sustainable recovery. Admitting failure is not an option for those who receive their power from that system.
The continuity of the structural hierarchy must therefore be maintained at all costs, even to the point of becoming a painfully obvious hypocrisy.
The Banks must be restrained, and the financial system reformed, with balance restored to the economy, before there can be any sustained recovery.