The entire problem with solving the gridlock is that the ultra-right sector of the Republican party in the House of Representatives does not believe in government and considers “government” something that should be starved so that it can be kept down to a bare minimum. Remember Reagan’s famous quote, “government isn’t the solution, government is the problem.” That is the caveat that these Tea Party advocates want to govern by.
The problem is, people who don’t believe in government, can’t (won’t) govern. (In a democracy governing is not the same as just wielding power). The president of the United States can’t solve this problem because it is not his job to write revenue bills — those bills must by law originate in the House of Representatives. Thus, the Senate also cannot solve this problem because they can only accept or reject or reconcile revenue bills originated in the House and then passed again by the House. The dis-functionality of this system is built in, if the people responsible for writing a reasonable budget bill won’t act to do so. We will either go over the so called “cliff” or we will get a stopgap measure that is really not going to solve any long term budget problems. The president’s only real tool in all of this is the power to veto any bill that he deems irresponsible or too slanted in the favor of the “rich” vs. the “poor.” Good luck everyone.