Greece has come a long way since it last ruled the known Western World.
I am struck by this interesting Time article, and the parallels it might have for America:
To regain credibility, the government has to tell the truth, no matter how ugly it is, Bastian says. And it seems to have already learned that lesson. The national statistics agency has fudged data for years, but now appears to be turning to transparency, Bastian notes, as evidenced by the gloomy quarterly reports. "But credibility also means getting on with structural reforms and facing down labor unions," he says. "Both international markets and the Greeks themselves want to see results."(See pictures of economic-driven riots in Greece.)
Congress can't balance a spoon, let alone a budget. Despite pretty hard times, very few Americans in THIS century can remember the Depression of the LAST century (those who have, have outlived their "four-score years").
We (The People) will probably turn many of Congress out on the streets this year, but I'm not sure we're committed to the sacrifices that may be necessary to get us back on track.
Worse, the Senators and Representatives who will be elected this year are oft more concerned with themselves (or "issues" that might get themselves elected) than the people they purport to represent. I can't name ONE who lays specific claim to an idea that will reduce Federal spending (overall ... they would shuffle funds, but not cut the budget), raise taxes, or otherwise balance the budget. Congress does not seem ABLE to make sacrifices.
(NOTE: I welcome Boehner's thought to return to 2008 spending levels ... why not 2000 levels, when the budget was almost balanced?)
When rioters are dressed in suits, perhaps our Government will understand. Until then, I would encourage Congress (and those who aspire to The Capitol) to read the inscriptions on their own walls:
"To venture into the wilderness, one must see it, not as it is, but as it will be." —Carl Becker
Otherwise, like Greece, America will fade into history. Congress will be responsible.