Politifact has a nice piece on some points Mark Warner made on the deficit recently. He and republican Saxby Chambliss are working together on a package of reforms that would actually put our country on track to fiscal sanity, and have been getting a lot of attention... and flak... for it.
I actually didn't know this, but according to Warner:
"I don’t think that most Americans realize that we actually spend more on tax expenditures, or tax breaks, than we collect in personal income taxes each year," he said.
Politifact checked on this and found:
...during the last two fiscal years, individuals received a total of about $1.98 trillion in breaks for the $1.85 trillion in income tax they paid.
The biggest breaks are very popular, like on pension contributions, health care and the mortgage interest deduction. Warner, I think correctly, doesn't suggest we should toss them out, but merely cap them so we're not giving tax incentives to people buying...