Here are some suggestions for sharing those sacrifices:
* Congress should immediately and significantly reduce its and the president's salaries and do away with its and his pensions.
Not only would it show good faith with the American people, but it might also boost citizen statesmanship and thin the ranks of career politicians in the long run. (Some - not all - of this might work on a state level, too.)
* Cut out all farm subsidies. If I want pine trees to supplement my retirement, I - not taxpayers - ought to buy and plant them. If my neighbor wants a fishing pond, he - not taxpayers - ought to pay the dam cost (pun intended). If farmers want to raise cotton, wheat, sugarcane or any other currently subsidized crop, they ought to do it for what the market - not taxpayers - will pay.
And if Ted Turner, David Rockefeller and quite a few members of Congress want to own farms or ranches, they ought to do so without funding from taxpayers. (If voting on the Farm Bill while receiving USDA subsidies isn't a conflict of interest, what is?)
* Require full-time work or schooling of every able person on public assistance. Those needing help earn both money and dignity, and taxpayers get something in return.
* Raise the minimum age for Social Security retirement benefits to 70. When Social Security began, not many people lived into their 70s; now we regularly live into our 80s and 90s.
The idea that younger workers should routinely fund 20- and 25-year retirements for others is all Greek to me.
* Every federal project should be preceded by not just an environmental impact study but an economic impact study that requires benefits to outweigh expenditures by 2 to 1 or more, which would offer taxpayers some protection against cost overruns and errors.
(OK, this sounds like an increase in bureaucracy and its manifold costs, but I'm betting it would jettison enough ill-founded ideas to actually streamline government a bit.)
* Transfer much funding from college loans and grants to work-study. Students who work part-time presumably take their studies more seriously, and the colleges get extra manpower when many are having to let jobs go unfilled.
* Every time someone pontificates that it's immoral for rich people not to pay more taxes than they do, ask him to document how much he has voluntarily donated to his local, state or federal government.
Those are a start.