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I may be wrong, but it seems to me we are witnessing a profound shift in American politics and that only seems to be accelerating these days. The shift is in regard to government fiscal policy - particularly the revenue/taxation side. From the federal level down through the state levels to local levels, we see a “fiscal crisis” of varying degrees of severity. There is a lot of political rhetoric. Yet neither political party seems to be engaging in any serious debate (probably because they are too busy finger-pointing and passing the buck). The leaning down of government and “cutting out the fat” has been the focus for so long that little is left to cut without cutting into the basic quality and quantity of governmental services delivered. As a result, we are experiencing deterioration of public services at every level of government - all under the political guise of “fiscal responsibility”.