There are three important USA deficits that urgently need to be reduced: the budget deficit, the trade deficit, and the jobs deficit (we are exporting more jobs than we create internally). In addition, the swollen concentration of wealth needs to be reduced or there will never be enough American demand for goods and services to sustain economic growth. This growth will be needed in order to make the servicing of our huge debt tolerable.
Tax laws can be used in order to correct these monumental problems. What are the two main parties up to? Well there seems to be a "compromise" in the works. There will be a temporary extension of all Bush tax cuts, which the Republicans want, in return for a temporary extension of unemployment benefits and maybe a few other tax breaks for the middle class, which the Democrats want.
The tax cut extensions mean lost revenue. The unemployment benefits mean more expenditures. The tax cuts for the rich mean more money to invest, mainly abroad because that's where the profits are. Tax cuts and benefits for the middle class mean more consumption, largely for imports because we don't make much anymore. So we are still in the mode of increasing the deficits. The Bush tax cuts also accelerated the longer term increase in the concentration of wealth.
What are the two parties up to? Kicking the can down the road. That is what they do best. This is unsustainable!