President Obama has done what you expect to have done in a negotiation. He made a proposal with increased income by letting the tax rate for the wealthy go to the level it was at back during the Clinton boon years and he looks for savings from last year's budget cuts, reductions in medicare spending and savings from the end of the wars.
In traditional negotiations the ball would be in the Republican's court. They now should be making a detailed counter offer so that negotiations could move forward. Only the GOP has not done that. Instead of they have done is ridicule the President's plans and offered up platitudes about closing special interest tax loop holes and reduce spending.
There is a good reason the GOP doesn't want to make a detailed counter proposal. The reason is that the American people would hate what the GOP wants. The GOP owes the billionaires and big corporations who spent over half a billion to get them into office or keep them in office big time. So what the GOP wants is to make their wealthy benefactors happy. That means they don't want to raise taxes on the wealthy Now they claim elimination of deductions, but financially that's about as effective as spitting on a five alarm fire. The truth is the increase in tax rates will raise tens of billions of dollars a year while the loop hole closing would be lucky to raise a billion and that is if you harm the nation by eliminating things like tax deductions for charities (which would cripple not for profits and churches).
To make up for the money lost by not raising taxes on the wealthy the GOP would like the poor and middle class to bear the burden. The GOP wants huge cuts in Social Security benefits, Medicare benefits and Medicaide benefits. They want to gut or cripple most of the federal goverment with huge draconian spending cuts that would again hurt the poor and middle class.
So now the GOP having to stake out a position that is contrary to the interests of America and most Americans has no desire to share that position with the American public. What they will try to do, and this will only make going over the so called cliff more likely, is stomp their feet and pout and make vague demands and hold their breath until the President makes all the horrible proposals they want to see passed.
After all one thing the GOP has no interest in is accountability for THEIR actions.