"There's no doubt that government budgets are in trouble. The big lie is that the reason is excessive spending.
Public budgets are in trouble because revenues plummeted over the last two years of the Great Recession.
They're also in trouble because of tax giveaways to the rich.
Before Wisconsin's budget went bust, Governor Walker signed $117 million in corporate tax breaks.
Nationally, you remember, Republicans demanded and received an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the rich. They've made it clear they're intent on extending them for the next ten years, at a cost of $900 billion. They've also led the way on cutting the estate tax, and on protecting Wall Street private equity and hedge-fund managers whose earnings are taxed at the capital gains rate of 15 percent. And the last thing they'd tolerate is an increase in the top marginal tax rate on the super-rich.
Meanwhile, of course, more and more of the nation's income and wealth has been concentrating at the top. In the late 1970s, the top 1 percent got 9 percent of total income. Now it gets more than 20 percent.
So the problem isn't that "we've" been spending too much. It's that most Americans have been getting a steadily smaller share of the nation's total income.
At the same time, the super-rich have been contributing a steadily-declining share of their own incomes in taxes to support what the nation needs -- both at the federal and at the state levels."