Bob Bennett says the "kitchen table" model of financial planning cannot work for governments because they cannot know how much income they will get in the coming year. My father was a salesman, and although my parents had fixed expenses, they never knew for sure from one month to the next how much dad would make on commissions. It was necessary to establish a budget based on the essentials in case the income was low. On months when his income exceeded the necessary living expenses, it was kept in the bank for a less prosperous time.
Why couldn't our elected leaders first determine what the essentials are, and then establish a budget based on conservative estimates of tax revenue? When income exceeded those conservative estimates, the excess could be invested for future needs.