Not extending the Bush tax cuts to the top income brackets may only bring 40 billion dollars to the Treasury; at least according to a guest from an organization called American's For Limited Government who was interviewed on a recent Joe Show on Bellingham's Progressive Talk Station. 40 billion may be just a drop in the bucket, but at least it looks like the rich are part of the equation.
I'm not sure how accurate those figures are anyway, but I'll go with them, at least for the sake of this discussion.
Much larger progress can be made toward reducing the deficit by cutting back on the growth of various entitlement programs. Medicare, for instance and of course the vast outlays of the Department of Defense. Looks like sacrifices will have to be made in those areas, but it's hard to get people to give an inch, unless they feel the rich are sacrificing also. To some extent it's a battle of symbolism. The perception that everyone is in the same boat makes it easier to let go of some of one's personal needs and wants in order to sacrifice a bit for the greater good.
Where's that American spirit of giving to the greater good? We all need to feel like we are in it together in order to feel that way, I guess.