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How You'd Cut the Federal Deficit

You spoke up loud and clear. But is Washington listening?

property of churches and nonprofit organizations; and imposing taxes on carbon-based fuels.

One commenter even advocated a return to the sharply higher tax rates of the 1950s, when taxpayers in the top $400,000-plus bracket paid a breathtaking 84 percent of their income in federal income taxes. Because the wealthiest 1 percent of the population receives about a quarter of the nation's $12.5 trillion in personal income, Eisenhower-era tax rates would raise roughly $2.4 trillion in revenue — more than enough to wipe out the deficit, provided that those wealthiest Americans of all didn't flee to overseas tax havens.

On the other hand, a group of wealthy Americans who have dubbed themselves Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength have urged President Obama and congressional leaders to increase taxes on incomes of more than $1 million "for the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens."

Other ideas

Then there were the outside-the-box proposals that, depending on your point of view, could be seen as innovative, outlandish or something in between.

A few commenters suggested that the deficit could be erased by asking citizens to make voluntary donations. By our back-of-the-envelope

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