I don't think it can be avoided. Reasons: The public debt is $13.3 trillion dollars, or over $43,000 for every man, woman, and child lving in our country. (SOURCE) This year's federal deficit is forecast to be just under $1.5 trillion dollars. Two of the key figures who have controlled our fiscal policy in recent days are unrepentant tax cheats--Charlie Rangel and Tim Geithner. Many folks (myself included) sometimes forget the depth and scope of our crisis--not to mention that reducion in Perhaps the scariest statistic of all: David Walker, head of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and former U.S. controller, told the San Francisco Chronicle's Carolyn Lochhead last week, "If you eliminated all the Bush tax cuts, if you withdrew from Iraq and Afghanistan, if you eliminated foreign aid, and if you eliminated all spending associated with congressional earmarks -- the populist things -- it's about 15 percent of the problem." ( SOURCE ) In other words, we're on the hook for such massive amounts of entitlements--and the number of "sacred cows" would qualify as a massive herd--There is likely no politician who could pull together a consensus to fix it. Attempting to fix the problem is political suicide, and simply will not garner enough support to form a bill, override a veto, or do anything else in a Constitutional Republic. IMHO, it will take a financial disaster for us to seriously address this problem--a disaster that is serious enough that no one worries about re-election. Yep...that serious. Serious enough that the "D" or "R" suffix becomes meaningless.