Those who oppose higher taxes and are fed up with record levels of U.S. debt may pine for Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of lower taxes and smaller government.
But it's worth considering just what Reagan did -- and didn't do -- as lawmakers grapple with many of the same issues that their 1980s counterparts faced: a deep recession, high deficits and a rip-roaring political divide over taxes.
Soon after taking office in 1981, Reagan signed into law one of the largest tax cuts in the postwar period.
That legislation -- phased in over three years -- pushed through a 23% across-the-board cut in individual income tax rates. It also called for tax brackets, the standard deduction, and personal exemptions to be adjusted for inflation starting in 1984. That would reduce "bracket creep" since the high inflation of the 1970s and early 1980s meant incomes rose very fast, pushing taxpayers into ever higher brackets even though the real value of their income hadn't changed.