Our core institutions' funding sources have gradually been depleted. This has been happening for decades by gradually transferring funding sources from those who can best afford it to those who cannot. In addition, we have been losing jobs because of the so-called globalization of our economy (spin for increasing corporate profits at our expense). The unemployed not only do not pay taxes, but often become a burden on our society. This, in turn, results in a gradual squeezing of funds to the point that we are way beyond "cutting to the bone."
Now that there are only scraps on the table, we are desperately fighting over what is left. It tends to bring out the worst in us, and we start scapegoating groups to explain our dire situation.
We are quickly becoming a Third World nation because we are not putting enough into our core institutions and infrastructure. Those most able to contribute should do so, and they used to without ill consequences to the economy. Don't let them scare you into believing that changes will result in the end of the world. They always pull out that card to get us to back off.
Joe and Elaine Lieber