Faithful reader JM weighs in with the question about raising taxes. There are, after all, two approaches to balancing the budget. My own sense is that there is enough money sloshing around in the American economy to achieve a federal balance without significantly damaging the Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous. It would take two significant moves: One, an increase in the top marginal rate paid by the pluto-oligarchs; and Two, a more rational approach to defense spending which would reduce the outlay to, say, the $500 billion level (and that's everything, tips, gratuities, even the gift bags). To solve Social Security, the cap on the maximum income subject to FICA tax needs to be raised and perhaps titrated, year-by-year, to achieve a balance between outgo and income. And the health care system needs to be nationalized.
Percentiles Ranked by AGI
AGI Threshold on Percentiles
Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid