Sarkozy lost in France this month. Greece cannot form a government. Merkel's party lost a major election over the weekend. Great Britain is ruled by a coalition government. Obama used his majority in both houses of Congress to ram through a $787 billion stimulus, which fizzled. Then his party lost the House in 2010. Support for him is tepid, at best.
Think back 30 years. In politics, there were three crucial figures: Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Deng Xiaoping. In religion, there was one: John Paul II.
Ronald Reagan rammed through his tax cuts in 1981. The Democrats in the House grudgingly went along. The public was behind Reagan. They knew it.
He had trounced Jimmy Carter. That was the first time an incumbent elected President had lost since 1932. (Ford had not been elected.)
In 1982, Reagan signed TEFRA into law. It raised taxes. Social Security's bankruptcy came in 1983. Reagan accepted the decision of the Greenspan Commission on Social Security. He accepted a long-term tax hike.