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Given the frightening levels of debt the United States carries, such a delay might be damaging. Fiscal survival will mean sacrifice, but voters are not prepared for the pain they will have to endure.

Reforming the tax system can help not just reduce deficits but also will make economic decision-making more efficient. That’s what a low-rate, limited-loophole tax code can provide.

To get there, a lot more preparation and education are needed and that could take a long time.

Jeffrey H. Birnbaum is a Washington Times columnist, Fox News contributor and president of BGR Public Relations.