The simple solution to the budget problem is a flat tax on everyone and everything, plus across-the-board cuts on everyone and everything.
Eliminate the earned income tax credit (the refundable federal income tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals), and then tax all income the same, including dividends and capital gains. This would completely eliminate whining about "favored status" groups.
Then implement equal cuts (perhaps 10 percent) on all (yes, all!) government spending, including politicians' paychecks and military and welfare spending.
The simple solution to bad government is not secession from the Union. It would be better to limits all politicians to two terms in any elected office.
This would eliminate do-nothing-positive politicians, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Orrin Hatch, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and replace them with positive politicians who are currently living in the real world outside the District of Columbia.
Of course, this will never be proposed by self-serving politicians or the single-minded editors of The Tribune, but one can always have a dream.
Salt Lake City