Russell Long, longtime Senator from Louisiana, summed up the American attitude toward taxation as, "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind a tree." The same attitude applies to cutting federal programs in order to reduce the deficit. A new Pew poll not surprisingly finds that the only changes approved by a majority of those surveyed are taxes on incomes over $250,000 and limiting the tax deductions for large corporations. Reducing funds for defense, science, education and the poor all get majority disapproval.
The only way around such views, I think, is a package of revenue increases and spending cuts that's big enough to make a difference, but with particular items small enough to be tolerable.