If you are interesting in determining what policies hold the greatest potential for reducing America's dangerous federal debt, I highly reading this article from Reason.com. Two Harvard Economists, Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna, studied 107 efforts to lower debt in 21 nations and arrived at a series of fascinating conclusions. They found that “Countries that addressed their budget shortfalls through reduced spending were far more likely to reduce their debt than countries whose budget-balancing strategies depended upon higher taxes" and in most cases the optimal ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases was 85 to 15. We can argue about the exact ratio, but the evidence is clear: nations which based their debt reduction strategies on tax hikes were largely unsuccessful in their efforts . Furthermore, they found that successful debt reduction strategies tended to focus on spending cuts in two areas: social transfers (entitlements) and government wage-bill, or put simply, the size of and compensation received by the public sector work force. Unfortunately I suspect that the majority of voters will continue to be swayed by generic rhetoric such as "the rich are not paying their fair share," rather than look at the hard numbers and experiences of other nations that faced similar challenges.