This particular comment, by Jason Lang, over on a post by Chuck Sheketoff - struck me as a particularly well-written and cogent statement of the difference between progressives and conservatives on how to handle budget shortfalls - especially the closing paragraph:
If my household were starting to run up debt and trying to make ends meet, sure, there is some cutting back to do. I'd go out to eat less, buy generic instead of brand name, and look into coupons.
However, I would not, for example, sell off my car, cut all services (water, electricity, phone) completely, and basically sit in my box and wait for something to somehow improve. Even should 'the market' somehow improve, that will not improve situation at all. You need to increase revenue, which governments do by taxing. And you do not attract people to move in by living in an industrial wasteland.
Taxes do not kill jobs. Opportunities make jobs. You make opportunities by improving your population, and their condition. Having a large number of moderately affluent people will make jobs as people find ways to get their money, and find their businesses supported by a steady flow of income.
Right now, our tax structure is not making a large number of affluent people, it is making a very small number of extremely wealthy individuals. And there is only so many toothpaste tubes and TVs that Bill Gates and Phil Knight needs. Which leads to fewer businesses competing for fewer and fewer resources. We need to tax more so that we can make things better for everyone, you, me, everyone.