I didn't hear even Democrats saying they would raise taxes, except on the wealthiest sector. I don't think Obama's going to raise the income tax on the 90% of us earning below $250,000. I wish, though, that a gasoline tax would be instituted, at least $1.00 per gallon. This would still mean we'd paying less than when gas was a its highest a couple of months ago.
I don't think the problem is the that U.S. standard of living is obscenely high. We don't rank in the top five in the world, according to lists I saw. So what is it about our economy that is different from that of wealthier countries? Is it, as you suggest with Britney Spears, that our culture and economy combine to create a product--American culture--that is probably our biggest export right now (and not one to be very proud of)? Is it that we still consume a lot more than citizens in wealthier countries, often going into major debt to do it? Is it that we simply celebrate consuming more than any other country? It could be that countries like China are catching up to us in this regard.