Cato has a good post showing what's now taken as a "cut" by the politicians in Washington. Here's what it looks like graphically:
Of course ultimately this speaks not to the politicians but to the electorate at large and to the intellectuals who educate them. As things stand now, any aspiring politician who speaks plainly, andwho doesn't pander to those living in a fantasy world, is unelectable.
There's simply no getting around the fact that the only way to achieve any long term, meaningful political change is by instituting a significant cultural and educational shift.