America's Fiscal Crisis: Is the Real Deficit One of Political Will?

America's Fiscal Crisis Deficit of Political Will
America's Fiscal Crisis Deficit of Political Will

At the core of Greece's debt woes lies the unavoidable fact that its citizens' expectations about the services their government should provide are simply not commensurate with the taxes they are willing to pay or the revenue that the state collects. While it's not as immediately pressing, the U.S. faces a similar problem.

Americans like wide, clean roads and the security the comes with knowing the police or fire department will come if there is an emergency. And while the so-called "entitlements" such as social security and Medicare have been at the center of political controversies, just about everyone knows someone who benefits from these federal programs.

And yet Americans overwhelmingly say they want lower taxes. How then can we reconcile the tension between the government services that people want -- and indeed have come to expect -- and their desire for lower tax bills?

In this conversation, DailyFinance's Sam Gustin talks to international finance writer Vishesh Kumar, economics editor Michael Rainey, and senior market writer Dan Burrows about whether American politicians have the political will necessary to tell the hard truth to their citizens: The U.S. either has to cut spending, raise taxes or most likely, a combination of both, in order to get its fiscal house in order.