In this Nov. 30, 2012, photo provided by CBS News Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner answers questions about averting the "fiscal cliff" on an episode of “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 Geithner said Republicans have to stop using fuzzy “political math” and say how much they are willing to raise tax rates on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans and then specify the spending cuts they want.

It's so disheartening to see Republicans and Democrats locked in such a bitter dispute about revenue increases that are inconsequential when compared to the size of our annual federal budget deficits.

Rather than fight the president's plan to increase taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, fiscal conservatives should be seeking tax increases across the board, including the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes. Broad tax increases will be very bad for the economy, but since we have proven at the polls that Americans want big government, it's about time we began paying for it instead of leaving outrageous debt for our children and grandchildren.

Democrats have got to accept significant spending cuts, including reductions in the entitlements they prize so much. You can't fill a bucket that has no bottom, and there simply isn't enough money available to sustain our extravagant government spending. Falling off the so-called fiscal cliff will be fun compared to the trauma we can expect if we don't soon set our financial house in order.

Steve Fillerup