In the '40s, we fought and won a global war against powerful and ambitious nations bent on world domination. They were militarily more powerful than we were, at least in the beginning. We defeated them, then helped to rebuild not only our allies, but our former enemies as well. In the '50s, we continued the rebuilding of Europe, while building the interstate highway system. We were a net creditor nation during this time. In the '60s, we fought the most divisive war since the civil war, we put a man on the moon, and were still a net creditor nation. In the '70s, we survived a global economic disaster brought on by OPEC. We were a net creditor nation. In the '80s, there was no international crisis, no major accomplishments. The savings and loan industry had to be bailed out by government to the tune of billions of dollars. There was a scandal of epic proportions in the government involving the sales of arms to an enemy of our nation. It was during that decade that we went from being a creditor nation, to being a debtor nation. In the '90s, we saw the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war. It could be argued that we brought on that fall, or not, according to your political views. We continued as a debtor nation, while accomplishing no major domestic projects. In the new century, we've seen the national debt baloon to over 10 trillion dollars, the interstate highway system built in the '50s begin to show signs of needing repair, the leves in Louisiana fail, and a bridge on a major highway collapse. The government is broke, it can't pay its obligations, and seems unable to accomplish anything of note. What happened?