These are difficult times for Americans as we watch in disbelief our government's continued dysfunctionality in the face of impending crisis. The rising shrill of the media and political jabs only make matters worse. We wanted to share some facts we hope will assuage fears and put the current situation in a more realistic context.

Here we sit, once again in fiscal crisis as our leaders fail to lead by compromise. Both Democrats and Republicans risk potential political backlash if they fail to find a way forward before the government runs out of money and technically defaults on its debts.

Global investors and credit rating agencies alike are closely watching dramas on two world stages. The first is playing a very small stage with no audience and a limited run. The final curtain call for the Congressional Super-committee to reach their plan for cutting $1.2 Trillion from the federal deficit is just four days away, if you count the 48 hours required by the Congressional Budget Office to score it. The actors are evenly divided between protagonists and antagonists (depending upon your political point of view of course) working from the same economic script. In stark contrast, the second stage spans an area roughly the size of the southern and eastern United States, the actors are all protagonists, but in this drama each actor must work both from his own economic script while crafting a common script to save their European Union, their banking system, and their respective economies. 

As the clock ticks with little more than a week to go before the August 2 deadline, Democrats and Republicans say they are no closer to a deal to raise the debt limit and cut spending. The latest out is that Obama and House Speaker John Boehner may be close to a deal. Even though details are sketchy, Democrats are critical of it because spending would be immediate and tax increases would come only later, if at all.