A Decade of Missed Chances Bedevils U.S. Prospects: Ezra KleinAfter the failure of the 1973 Geneva Peace Conference, the Israeli diplomat Abba Eban sighed that“The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” In recent years, the same could be said of Americans.
Two months ago, the U.S. marked the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Sadly, we commemorated a tragedy without celebrating much triumph. The post-9/11 moment was an unheralded instance of national -- even global -- unity. The Bush administration could have used it for almost anything. And, to be fair, it did. The nation burned trillions of dollars in two wars and a budget-busting round of tax cuts. The president told us to go shopping, and the Federal Reserve held interest ratesat extraordinarily low levels. The result? Deficits and a credit bubble. That was missed opportunity No. 1.