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The United States has endured and suffered through days of triumph and tragedy. Among the latter have been the stock market crashes of Sept. 28-29, 1929; Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941; John Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963; and, of course, Sept. 11, 2001, which needs no elaboration.
Joining that infamous collection will be Aug. 2, 2011.
On that day, Congress passed and U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law legislation raising the debt ceiling and borrowing capacity of the United States while making about $1 trillion of spending cuts to its already swollen deficit-ridden budget.
About three-quarters of Americans polled said they regarded this action as “ridiculous” or worse. And critics from both left and right vehemently attacked the measure in the most damning terms ranging from doing incalculable economic damage to beating a cowardly retreat from the realities of the fiscal crisis.
But those interpretations and criticisms miss the larger point. What the White House and Congress wrought must be seen as the high-water mark of what government can do, not the low point.
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