I'm tired of hearing we want our services but don't want to pay. The truth is that the services we are paying for are overpriced. The cost of services increased dramatically during the housing bubble, which also accelerated the cost of pensions. Now that the bubble has popped and revenues have diminished substantially the cost structure of government not only remains inflexible, but has increased substantially during the recession. City employees have maintained their jobs and received raises during the entire recession. Pension costs have increased over 100% from their "normal costs" in the past five or so years and health care costs for their Cadillac plans have probably increased 32% in just the last four years.
We pay plenty for our services but the inflexible employee cost structure, along with out of control pension costs, are what is driving the elimination of social safety nets. The shrinking education dollar (for the same above mentioned reasons) is looking like a Salmon desperately trying to swim upstream toward the classroom before being grabbed from the air by the jaws of a predator.