The politicians are fretting and fighting about reducing spending by $100 billion a year when the federal government spends $3 trillion a year. They are fighting over raising taxes by $80 billion a year (the amount expected from the evil rich) while federal spending is $3 trillion a year. Does that make sense?
Sadly, most people have no interest in really understanding the problem with federal spending. They just have a "feeling" that the "government needs to do stuff." Pathetic. This ignorance and apathy allow the two major parties in the U.S. to continue to play games and bankrupt the nation, all while building their power and wealth.
Most voters could tell you nothing about the supposedly terrifying sequester part of the false fiscal cliff. People just want to go along, spending on computer tablets, smart phones, cars and Xmas gifts. They'll continue in ignorant bliss until, one day, the party stops. Then the federal government, like governments in Europe, will have to cut out the party favors. Then the masses will wail and protest.
If I see you burn your hand on the stove, I don't need to touch the stove to learn that it is hot. Basic reason informs my decisions. As Furchtgott-Roth points out:
"In the 27 countries of the European Union, outlays as a percent of GDP average 49%...Tax revenues average 39% of GDP. However, as we read daily, Europeans have not avoided deficits and fiscal chaos with their high levels of taxes. Far from it."
Unfortunately, most Americans are clueless about history or current affairs beyond the weekend game or nightly reality television.