Too much attention has been paid to the role of tax increases in the current debate over the debt ceiling.The Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which has been in effect for a lot longer than this current conversation, is hardly the problem – and it is being used as a red herring to divert attention away from the real issue at hand: overspending.

As I’ve written here before, Washington cannot tax its way out of this financial hole and trying to do so would simply slow economic growth at a time when we can least afford it. Our lawmakers’ failure to make deep spending cuts is a function of their unwillingness to do the hard work and expend the political capital necessary to restore the nation to fiscal solvency.