The government takes in X amount of revenue every, oh let's say every quarter--tax revenue, fees, interest from investments, sales of real estate, sales of other goods etc. etc.
The government spends Y number of dollars every quarter: Paychecks to employees and the military, maintenance of buildings, office costs, Medicare payments to health care providers, grants to states, etc. etc. etc.
How far apart are X and Y every quarter?
What can we do to make Y smaller? Can we make Y smaller without losing the essential functions (now, there's a question for another day--what are the "essential functions" of the Federal government?) of the Federal government and without causing the creation of yet another group of unemployed people?
Is there anything that we can do to make X bigger that will not create a disincentive for citizens to increase their personal income?
Until we stop running at a loss on a quarterly basis, we will never be able to really fix this--we'll have to keep increasing our "credit limit."
Y needs to be smaller and X needs to be bigger. Let's start there.