Originally Posted By: Daniel

Yup. As long as enough people continue to believe we can have something for nothing, personal and national budgets will be a mess until the big crash, and that won't be fun for any of us.

I agree, and believe that premise is the ultimate driver, but unfortunately has been covered over with the following events in the last 8 years:

War in Afghanistan
War in Iraq
Lose oversight of the mortgage and investment industry

All were the results of bad choices (even Katrina with NOL a city built below sea level) All of them have been major threats to our financial well being and long term future. But no one particular event is easy to trace back to the route cause. (9/11 being the exception)