Most European countries rely heavily on sales taxes/ VAT. Such a tax does very little to distort people's incentives or discourage productive behavior. The result is that they have significant revenue (and, unless they're profligate, less deficit spending) with less deadweight loss to the economy.
In the US, we rely primarily on taxing productive behavior (payroll, savings, income, corporate taxes).
We also fill the tax code with enough loopholes and targeted cuts that it resembles a sieve. The targeted cuts are effectively government spending/subsidies; they may seem well intentioned in isolation but on the whole they're doing more harm than good. (Bush Sr.'s advisers had the motto "broaden the base, lower the rate," which is part of why some of the Clinton years ran a surplus. I imagine the loopholes were back in force by midway through Bush Jr's presidency.)
Even if we have lower taxes on the whole, in many cases our taxes are doing more harm to businesses and workers. We can change this.
Consumption taxes have seemed to be a third rail- an untouchable topic - in US politics, largely because by themselves they are regressive. But there are plenty of ways to implement an overall progressive tax system using them, like the "Bradford X tax."
We should also shift some of the burden of "productivity taxes" to Pigouvian taxes, which tax things that cause costs to society. A good example was the revenue-neutral carbon tax proposed by Republicans in Washington state (and shot down by Democrats because it didn't give them more money to advance their social agenda).
Again, it's not that there aren't solutions - solutions which reasonable people on both sides of the aisle should find acceptable. It's that we can't scrounge up the political will and get elected representatives to act reasonably.