Under the Radar

Michael Lipsky and Dianne Stewart, of Public Works Program, describe the challenges state governments are confronting as a result of the erosion of support for the role of government, and the efforts that are emerging to restore the public sector.

Instead, conservatives now undermine government in general. They respond to budget crises with deep spending cuts and sweep away any growth in revenues with tax cuts, ratcheting down the government's ability to address public purposes. Any notion of investing in state capacity to meet growing needs is dismissed, leaving advocates of vital state services to compete with one another for an ever-smaller state budget pie.