$596 trillionWow! Dat's a big nummer!
The triumphalism of the Bush years could easily be followed by the "I'll-sit-this-one-out" years of an Obama administration committed to a strict policy of belt-tightening. If that happens, both old and new Europe will have to demonstrate whether the European Union can rightfully claim to be on an equal footing with the United States.Maybe that'll be a good thing.
In the past, the US government's solo efforts provided the Europeans with an all-too-comfortable excuse for simply doing nothing. But that excuse is no longer valid.