The whole issue pisses me off, because we are being played as idiots. And frankly, considering the way a slight majority voted, we're more than happy to act the fool.
Increase taxes on the top 2% of income earners, the Democrats say, and it will all be sunshine and lollipops, cuz those bastards earn too much anyways, and they get too many tax breaks, and it's time they coughed it up.
Of course the Republicans argue that this will hurt the economy even more, because those rich people are gonna pass on the tax burden to the rest of us through their businesses by increasing prices, cutting spending and investment, and so on and on. Probably true, but it still misses the point.
If we out and out confiscated all the top 2%ers income, it wouldn't cover the expenses for even a full year. And expanding entitlement programs, increased government funding of pet projects (think Solyndra), and just generally increasing spending all over is just plain stupid.
If balancing the budget is the goal.
It is not.
Getting reelected is the goal - that is why both sides lie to us - they're afraid we'll kick 'em out if we finally understand that we all have to have our taxes increased if we expect to pay the debt - or even just match current spending. This includes those who are not paying any federal income tax now - they're gonna have to sacrifice some of their entitlements in order for the goal to be achieved. Cutting spending would certainly make it easier to do, but it still would be a major pain in the arse for everyone.
And the Feds cutting back on what they spend is gonna mean state and local governments will want more to keep the programs they feel are mandatory going, so we would all have to take in another notch on the ol' belt there.
This is the way it is, and I get tired of being lied to.