President Obama and fellow Democrats use the phrase “shared sacrifice” so often that the phrase is now a standard term. I have not heard any Republican use the term favorably, but neither have I heard any Republican dispute the notion. The only argument I have heard some Republicans raise is that the Democrats are hypocrites, not truly wanting to share the sacrifice.
This failure to challenge the Democrats on principle is why I think it is the Republicans, including those in the TEA Party, who will capitulate in the current debate over increasing the debt ceiling. The Republicans will agree to increases in taxes, increases in revenue for government, and continuation of oppressive government regulations of industry.
In a free society, no one is forced to sacrifice.
In a free society, a man is free to pursue his own interests, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. Sacrifice is a barbaric notion.
Millionaires and billionaires, those heroes whom Obama derides, are already subjected to the sacrifice of far more than half their lifetimes in the form of taxes and regulations. The government might as well let these heroes live free until the age of forty or fifty and then murder them and plunder all their wealth. Sadly, we are headed toward the second half of that policy without the first, for the same reason that Germany got there in the 1940s.
Then there are many just below the tier of millionaire who work for many years at a job they do not love, for enough savings to pursue a lifetime of what they do love: an art, a craft, an intellectual study, a less financially lucrative but more personally fulfilling business. Instead of accumulating such savings by, say, the age of forty, these individuals may have to wait until the age of seventy. By what right, and to what kind of people, does society sacrifice the best years of the lives of these individuals?
For the most eloquent refutation of the notion of sacrifice, read Ayn Rand. For a taste, see the quotations on the right panel of the home page of this blog.