We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The only difference is that they have cops, guns, jails, and armies to back them up and to require their clients' cooperation. An armed monopoly but yes, we consented to the original deal in 1787. I was just a kid back then, but I was all for it, believing it put government in a tight little cage. I did not anticipate, back then, how damn good their mass marketing would become over the centuries. Mass marketing was simple and primitive in those days.
To their credit, the professionals sincerely believe what they're saying. Sure their own interests happen to align with their rhetoric. But so what? Professional politicians have long ago stopped noticing such things and they shortened "Conflict of Interest" to Synergy a while back. They genuinely and truly believe that the government can't afford to make any real spending cuts. That if it did, the system would fall apart. And they're right. Their system would fall apart.
The system is too big to gradually reform. It's interconnected with too many expectations. And a major expectation is that it will keep on going this way. Government is an industry. And numerous industries have grown up around it. You can cut a hundred million, a billion, here and there, and that will just spur on competition among special interests. But you can't dramatically cut spending. If you do an entire supra-economy that has grown up over the regular economy collapses.
Of course that's exactly what has to be done. The professional politician represents the supra-economy. The one that's based on regulation, subsidies and grants. That employs everyone from union organizers to sensitivity trainers, consultants, administrators, suppliers, lawyers, managers and anyone whose job in the private or public sector is tied into the government.
Government is, in fact, the biggest business in the USA - the industry with the most guns, the most revenue, the most employees, the most power, and the most private jets too. But since this leviathan tends to be run by people who could not run a corner candy shop yet has armed persons behind them, it continually expands while losing money every day.
That is, as long as China has a single spare yuan to lend to it to maintain the illusion that it is a going concern. Yes, I know. We voted them all into office. Our bad.
The ugly truth of the matter is that a majority of Americans want socialism, they just don't like the word. You cannot reduce spending because the people themselves won't tolerate it. It's not just the special interest and politicians benefitting from all the money.
Eventually socialism does lead to economic stagnation (but not collapse) because the politicians have to keep offering up more and more goodies. The denouement is not some sort of anarchic post collapse hell. It is totalitarian socialism because the frightened, desperate majority will latch onto anyone promising to rescue them. Weimar to Hitler is the path we are on.