Sad, but true. The decline of the US is now unstoppable. First and foremost, 52% of all Americans pay no tax whatsoever. The problem with that is that the burden will be shifted more and more to "the rich", and the population of "the rich" will grow smaller and smaller. You have to understand what "rich" means. A business with over a $1 million/year in revenue is "rich" - but is it? Lets say that business has $250,000 in machinery that it needs to function as a business. It also has 15 employees earning $50K on average a year. Thats a net profit of $250K. Between Federal, state, local and FICA, 55% of that is gone. Thats $112,500 in net profit. Out of that, they have to manage inventory, operating expenses, equipment maintenance and have enough left over to save for equipment refreshes every 3 years. Hardly rich at all, is it? So, what happens when you raise taxes on this business? Option one - it goes out of business, reducing the number of "the rich", increasing the 52% paying nothing and making the tax burden on the remaining "rich" even steeper. Option two - it relocates to a more business friendly location, like Mexico. It lays off its American workers, and becomes a Mexican company, no longer subject to US taxes - ain't NAFTA great? This ends up reducing the number of "the rich", increasing the 52% paying nothing and making the tax burden on the remaining "rich" even steeper. Option three - it passes on the cost to the consumer. The consumer price index increases, entitlement payouts increase, the deficit increases, the percent of GDP the goes to service the debt increases. Taxes increase and the cycle begins again. No matter how it plays out, the US economy implodes, exactly as it happened to the now defunct Soviet Union in the 80s. The US government will collapse and then ensuing new government will not be a strong republic, but a loose federation formed out of different regions of the US: the northeast, the midwest, the northwest, the southwest, the deep south and Texas. China will become the major superpower. India will emerge as a economic powerhouse and Brazil will emerge as a world power in South America. It may take another hundred years, but it is inevitable.