The national debt has grown every single year since 1958. and it will equal the entire GDP some time in 2010. Call it a tipping point, call it decline, call it whatever one wants; it is a crisis of epic proportions.
Unfortunately, our nation's leaders are either oblivious, in which case they are fools, or they are powerless and cannot even save their own land, or they do not care, in which case they are not "leaders" at all. Instead, they are charlatans, pretending to embody the national interest but only driving the nation into a huge abyss.
Neither party has produced a plan to deal with this emergency, although the warning signs have been abundant for over a decade. And without a demonstrable will to boldly act, nations overseas will continue to make their own plans.
We now have global economies, not just the eastern block and the US and it is right to have these economies affecting us but the problem is, we are not evolving with our policies regarding spending and the inflation of the currency; America has just lost everything it has built, the stability and strength of it's monetary position. The dollar is involved with transactions the world over and when the Fed, Treasury, and Congress inflate the currency and expand our debt obligations the way they are, foreign nations know eventually their dollar holdings will be much less valuable. Combined, this includes trillions of dollars of reserves, treasuries, corporate bonds, and securities, and they will obviously want to dump them.
Who could blame them? We make bad decisions and then, in essence, ask foreign powers (who are often hostile) to pay for these decisions. So, what do we do? Do we steer the ship of state out of turbulent waters? No, we have continued to steer it toward the deep beyond, which means the run on the dollar is close at hand, perhaps even inevitable. Fear in our ability to pay back our debts will encourage that run where the capability and willingness by our nation's leaders could prevent it.
Since nothing has yet changed, (especially since the Wall St. & Bank crisis) the best Americans can do is stock up on gold and perhaps, canned goods and hold on tight because it is going to get worse.