We Americans are struggling through a combination of economic challenges unique in our history. Our parents or grandparents and older neighbors did experience the impact of a nationwide financial collapse leading to the Great Depression of the 1930s. At that time they did not have to face real limits on the financial capability of the federal government to meet its commitments. We do, and as a result we will have to make decisions that will reshape the relationship of our nation's government to its citizens.
Difficult economic policy choices will likely be the central focus of the 2012 presidential and congressional election campaigns. The impact of decisions we make will be real and immediate.
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