I've seen very little in a long time that makes things as clear as these two charts, from Paul Krugman, via Brad DeLong:
The exact opposite of "austerity" is what this nation needs. The rich must be made to pick up the tab for the damage they have done. We need a lower Social Security age, and higher benefits. We need a much higher minimum wage. We need accelerated government spending on infrastructure, so as not to leave our children with a trashed country. We need a real national health plan, which will drive a stake once and for all into the hearts of the health insurance vampires who are sucking us dry. I could go on, but why bother, because it seems that we are not going to get any of those things. What we will get is continued unconscionable breaks for capital gains earnings, massive corporate loopholes, government policies dictated by the hyper-rich, and a steep decline into the third world for the rest of us. The people with all the money may have been pretty well crushed in the last election, but that hasn't stopped them for one second from doing their worst to suck the United States dry, and so far, they seem to be getting their way.