...but its quite simple.
The decisions on how to best spend your tax dollars and how to manage this country are being made by a group of people ( meaning the lawyers and banks that support the candidates/politicians) who work within a different paradigm than you and I.
There's some saying that I can't remember, but goes along the lines of 'if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail'.
If you're a bank that deals in municipal bonds, then your solution to a budget deficit isn't to decrease the budget. Hell, your solutions isn't even to raise taxes. Your solution is to refinance the existing debt.
If you're a land sales attorney, your solution is to have the municipality sell of their assets ( ie privatization of the turnpike, or sale of the incinerator)
I tend to think that the world isn't nefarious as much as its pragmatic. Everyone works in their own self interest.
The balance to this is supposed to be the voting booth. Instead of the being beset upon by the lobbyist, the politicians are supposed to be lobbyist themselves, working as advocates for their own constituency.
In an interesting twist, I had a chance to meet a high powered political consultant recently. He said, " I'm usually referred to and introduced as a political consultant. But to be accurate, only 20% of my income is derived from consulting with politicians. I've found it to be much more effective to go right to the source. 80% of my time, money, and efforts are spend on shaping public opinion. The public is far easier to influence, at less cost, with longer lasting results. Why am I going to spend my time courting congressmen one at a time ? Once I have the public, then I get all the politicians".
Oh yeah.....I met the guy because he's in town working on behalf of marcellus shale drillers.