The problem is that the GOP cannot articulate the issues and always argue from the Progressives starting point.
Stop using "fiscal cliff". Call it a "fiscal guardrail" or a "fiscal sobriety check" or "fiscal credit check".
Couch it as a college student that has reached his credit card limit talking to his Mom or Dad. The student is running up debt on his dorm parties; he calls them stimulus. He has also signed up for all of these extra curricular activities that has hot the credit limit. Not to mention the beer tabs that he has runup.
Now he is calling to get the credit limit bumped up. What are you gonna tell 'em?