Even the new "fiscally responsible" Republicans vote against cutting Energy Department handouts to companies like Solyndra and subsidies to sugar producers. Many claim that any cut in military spending will weaken America and increase unemployment.
Progressives want to raise taxes on the rich to pay for wasteful government spending.
But it's a fantasy to imagine that taxing the rich will solve our deficit problem. If the IRS grabbed 100 percent of income over $1 million, the take would be just $616 billion. That's only a third of this year's deficit.
Even if rich people could cover the deficit, it wouldn't work. In the real world, higher taxes encourage rich people to cheat the system.
The rich make contributions, and politicians pay the rich back by giving them tax loopholes. That's a big loss to America. That money and creative energy spent on figuring out taxes might have gone to build new products, make music, cure cancer or ... who knows what?
It's not hopeless. As I show in my book, "No, They Can't: Why Government Fails but Individuals Succeed" a few places have made the cuts needed to restore fiscal sanity. Read the rest of my column here.