Reading Harold Meyerson’s column on the looming devastation of California public services was yet another reminder of the remarkable extent to which the terrible continuing economic situation has bizarrely dropped off the political agenda. Even the whole “green shoots” debate is really about whether we can expect things to be somewhat better or somewhat worse six months out from now. In either case, things really are really bad right now. And a whole bunch of states—including large ones like California and Pennsylvania—are soon to implement substantial cutbacks in services at just the time when the objective need for social services is going up.
This stuff is a big deal, but absolutely nobody’s talking about it. Instead, the federal government seems paralyzed by some poll numbers indicating that the voters are worried about the deficit. And maybe they are. But the voters aren’t going to be very happy if we head into the midterms with 12 percent unemployment.