Whom shall we blame?
The usual suspects. Barack Hussein Obama. Democrats, generally. The administrative state.
Too many to mention or even imagine, including, locally, The Houston Chronicle, and, nationally and worldwide, Big Media. It was (and is) their job to tell us that the price of all the progressive wonderfulness is slow-motion insolvency. To be the adults in the room. They failed, though failure is probably not the right category for intentional conduct. In their perverse view, the numbers above are evidence of success, not failure.
Who else is responsible?
Look in the mirror.
Can it be reversed?
No. The Bill Ayers faction has captured public education and is lobotomizing the children. The colleges and universities -- the elite ones, at least -- have run off most conservatives and now train social justice warriors, not educated citizens.
Where are we headed?
Slowly, because a great vessel such as America can be turned only slowly, in the same direction as Venezuela.
Fartherest along: Detroit, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Chicago.
Lying just ahead: The way-station of sclerotic Europe -- high and permanent unemployment, particularly for the young and minorities; dead economies; permanent social unrest; uncontrolled immigration by outsiders from even worse-governed countries, immediately eligible for the dole; high emigration by the young and able and ambitious; and birth rates that amount to the surrender of all hope for the future and for civilization itself.
The left's response to the failure of too much taxin' and spendin' and regulatin'?
More taxes, more spending, more regulations.
See, e.g., Bernard Sanders and Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, exhibiting the rage that always accompanies the failure of progressive nostrums.