The debate on the budget is phony, the howling on deficits a charade. Few politicians want to acknowledge that if you really are concerned about long-term deficits, you have to support tax increases.
It goes on from there. Dionne points out that politicians who voted for Clinton's 1993 tax increases were roundly punished for it in the next election - this despite the fact that the '93 tax increases helped pave the way for the only budget surplus we've had in recent memory.
Spending cuts are great, but we're not getting out of this budget mess by spending cuts alone. Even if we get rid of all of our discretionary spending, we still won't close the budget hole - and no one who's serious about policy is suggesting we take even that step. We need a tax increase, and I'll leave it to people smarter than me to determine how taxes can be increased while causing the least amount of pain.