Budget Control Act of 2011

Burden of debt hangs over U.S. economy

Once upon a time, the United States was the wealthiest and most generous nation in the world -- rebuilding countries after wars, supplying aid in natural disasters, and supporting allies and emerging democracies. We did all this and also built roads and airports at home.

We are still the wealthiest and most generous nation in the world. But in the past few decades we have come to realize that we can't pay for everything -- even by going into debt. And it has taken us $20 trillion-plus in debt to come to that conclusion.

In just recent weeks, we have seen these headlines -- financial, not political.

--America's infrastructure gets a D+ grade from the American Society of...

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