For 30 years we have witnessed a downward spiral of eroding public trust in government. While the federal government deals with the most momentous issues -- national security, health reform, global climate change -- state government has borne the brunt of a self-deepening tax revolt.
The fiscal noose imposed by tax and spending caps, now exacerbated by the recession, undermines states' ability to raise necessary revenues. The process erodes state governments' basic capacity to operate effectively -- which further destroys public trust. This vicious circle diminishes the willingness of Americans to entrust government at any level with tackling challenges that call for decisive action or for planning and investment in the future.