One of the possible reasons why we're in the pickle we're in economically speaking, is because we've been borrowing and spending too much over the past 30 years or so. As individuals and as a gov't, we spent a lot more than we had and now it's catching up to us. So, whatever President Obama says in his speech tonight or whatever the GOP says/does in response, it may well be that the public is just not going to return to those prolifigate spending ways. At least not until they feel better about their financial situation and their job security if they even have a job. According to an article in today's WSJ, household debt as a % of after tax income is around 120% (source: Federal Reserve). That's up from the mid 60s approx 30 years ago, which coincidentally is about the time Reagan cut taxes and Congress did not cut spending. Not interested in getting into a fight over who was at fault, but our national debt started to rise rapidly, and so did the household debt. Don't know if one fed the other, but as a country it's like we just gave up on fiscal responsibility. There is a sense among most Americans that we should not leave our debts to our children, we should be passing to them a better situation. Not sure if that sentiment is as strong as it was 40-50 years ago, but it ain't dead yet either. So it may be that for some years ahead a lot of Americans are going to rein in the spending somewhat. It is my opinion that jobs bills and stimulus spending will help assuage some of the pain people are in, but only temporarily. Until we get to the point where your equity in your house is a positive number and you feel your job is save and your brother/sister is back to work, it's all bandaids and bactine.