We need to address both spending and raise taxes, or it doesn't matter. We definitely need to cut defense spending, SS/med, etc.
Based on this being an "ideal":
1. Keep the income tax, but eliminate most deductions and credits. Simplify it enough so roughly 70-80% of Americans could do their taxes themselves.
2. Add a large gas tax. Oil is not only an environmental issue, but more importantly a national security and economic issue.
3. Raise the age you can take social security. Born before 1945 unchanged. 1946-1960 minimum is 68. Everyone else is at least 70. Social Security is not a retirement plan, but a "keep out of the gutter" plan when you are nearing death.
4. Cut defense spending drastically. We out spend the next 15 or so countries on this...too much maybe? "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
5. Eliminate the recent healthcare bill.
6. Raise the co-pay for medicare and for drugs under medicare.
7. Short term increase in income taxes (we are at a very low tax level compared to our historical norms no matter what the talking heads say). This could come just from the elimination of certain deductions.
8. Raise spending on infrastructure.