"Government should live within its means!"
Well, yes. But there's two ways to do this -- reducing expenses, and increasing income.
In the early 1970's, the economy in the town we lived in took a dive. Major industries left and were not replaced. When one major employer near my father's shop left, he lost over 200 customers. Our family economized as much as possible, but we weren't exactly living a lavish lifestyle to begin with -- our television, for example, was a 19" black-and-white hand-me-down from our grandparents -- so it wasn't as if there was a whole lot that could be cut without cutting into basic services such as food, clothing, water, and electricity.
So, here's the deal: Did he say, "oops, we only have enough money to buy food for two people, you kids are on your own, go scrounge some food out of garbage dumpsters"? Did he say, "oops, we don't have enough money for electricity and water and sewer, you kids are going to just have to freeze in the dark and go to the neighbor's to get water, and take baths while shivering in water hauled from the neighbor's outside faucet in buckets"? Uhm, no. He went out and got more income so we could continue eating. He spent a few dollars on advertising, but when that didn't bring in enough money, he took on a second job -- he increased his income. He might have been tired after he got home late at night from his second job, but we had food and water and electricity.
The notion that he should have just said, "oh well, we only have enough food for four days a week? Guess we'll just starve three days" would have had him slapping you upside the face (he was a fiery little Cajun dude and had a temper), because failing to provide for his family's basic needs that way would have offended him on a fundamental basis. Yet the anti-tax cretins regularly use the same rhetoric to justify government cutting basic services... "government must live within its means!" Well yeah, you cut what you can, but when you're down to the fundamentals of what government is supposed to be doing -- things like transportation, public safety, etc. -- there comes a time when you have to say, "f**k it, it's time to dig in and take a second job to increase our income." Whether a family has 4 people in it like ours did growing up, or 36,000,000 people in it like the State of California, the point remains the same -- when times are hard, you not only cut your expenses as far as possible, but you also increase your income as much as is necessary to keep the lights on and food in your children's mouths and pay for health insurance for your children. It's called, like, manning up. Duh. Not that the tighty righties who shit their pants over the notion of mean darkies would know what being a man is all about anyhow, they're too busy cringing in terror of anybody who's a different color from them to know what being a man is all about...
-- Badtux the Budget Penguin