"The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced. If the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt, people must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." – Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC
This could just have easily be written today, but it wasn't. It was written over two millenia ago. It just goes to show that, while the context has shifted, the same ideas plague us now as they did during the ancient Roman Empire.
"The moral and constitutional obligations of our representatives in Washington are to protect our liberty, not coddle the world, precipitating no-win wars, while bringing bankruptcy and economic turmoil to our people." — Ron Paul 2007
As people, we constantly have this idea that we are facing a situation that is entirely novel and either far better or far worse than anything anyone has ever experienced before. That no previous situation compares. But we also have adages warning us of this mistake.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." — George Santayana
A lot of grandiosity is placed around the situations we face as a nation. But when you see a problem as nothing more than a situation requiring a solution, things fall into perspective. Things didn't work out for the Romans, hopefully we will fair a little better.