That Democrats and Republicans might find it impossible to reach accord is a sign of political dysfunction but it shouldn't be seen as a bright, flashing STOP sign to the housing industry. In fact the financial cliff has a lot more in common with last year's political fiasco over the debt ceiling than it does with the disastrous financial meltdown of 2008. The debt ceiling debate was an unsettling distraction; the financial meltdown had real end-of-the-world possibilities.
As it is, the word in Washington today is that a fairly amicable fiscal cliff settlement is a genuine possibility. Should that fail, most analysts believe some sort of short term fix that buys time for Congress and the President and quiets concerns about an economic catastrophe will pass before the end of the year.
I say this: with every fundamental metric about housing headed in the right direction, maybe it's time to take a leap of faith and to start building and investing. Damn the fiscal cliff; full speed ahead.