The End of the '00s:
If the 1990s were Japan's "Lost Decade," in many respects the 2000s have been ours. American incomes were lower in 2008 than in 1999, the first decline over a 10-year span since the Great Depression. Sharp drops in the housing and stock markets mean that most Americans' nest eggs are worse off than they were 10 years ago, too. Washington turned in the worst track record of all. When George W. Bush took office in 2001, the national debt was $5.7 trillion and shrinking. Now it's $12 trillion and rising. Apparently, this decade was called the '00s for a reason.
Many factors contributed to the stagnation of American incomes and plunge in assets. But the debt soared primarily for one simple reason: Washington stopped even trying to make ends meet.