In reality, this is still a rich country and we can pay our bills and take care of our people if our rulers will let us, despite our current trio (!) of dumb wars and habit of coddling failed financial speculators.
Progressive Congresscritters have introduced a "People's Budget" that shows how. Our rulers aren't going to give us anything so sensible unless or until we beat them into it, but progress starts with a picture of where we want to go. The People's Budget serves that function.
Don't take my word for it -- Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman agrees that this is how we need to be thinking.
Here's a 7 minute clip that explains all this from the Thom Hartmann show, pulled together by Ronni Bennett of Time Goes By.