We're told that we can't afford universal health insurance, college student debt relief, infrastructure repair, rail service, public education, job creation, revenue assistance to states and cities, and a whole host of other things that in a sane and normal polity would be considered obviously necessary for the national welfare, for law and order, and would be uncontroversial.
However, we always find the money to pay out big government subsidies to banks and oil companies that are already making record-shattering profits. We always find the money to pay military contractors for big new expensive toys, and to pay mercenaries to fill out the ranks of our citizen military. The mayor of Pittsburgh is talking about taxing students for college tuition, but we have no problem at all further reducing the tax burden of that charmed circle of folks who own and run the United States (and a lot of the rest of the world).
And we can always find lots of money for bombing the shit out of scary looking foreign brown people.
And speaking of no-money-for-YOU-miserable-sinners, Atrios and Toujoursdan point us to Citigroup getting a massive tax break from the Feds, the same Citigroup that lost at the roulette table with all our money and left the rest of us holding the bag. Can you say "billions" boys and girls? Can you say "publicly subsidized oligarchy" boys and girls?