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United States

Yearbook 2011

USA. When the new congress met in early January, Republicans had a majority in the House of Representatives after the election success a few months earlier. John Boehner was elected to the important post of President of the House of Representatives. The Democrats retained control of the Senate, but Republicans blew into battle to tear up laws passed by President Barack Obama.

2011 United States

According to Countryaah official site, a Democratic congressman, Gabrielle Giffords, was severely shot in an assault that claimed the lives of six people in Arizona in January. The attack sparked debate about a widespread imagery, usually not least in the right-wing Tea Party movement, which could be perceived as calls for violence against political opponents.

2011 United StatesHowever, the tone was hardly muted in the polarized climate that characterized Washington politics. In April, President Obama was prompted to publish his entire birth certificate, in an attempt to make a point of stubborn claims that he was not born in the United States and thus would not be entitled to the presidential post. He justified that the country faced important challenges and did not have time for "such stupidity".

The fierce debate was largely about the economy. Obama announced cuts in welfare programs for the elderly and the poor, reduced defense spending and some tax increases for the wealthy, in an effort to reduce the galloping budget deficit. Republicans consistently demanded major savings and bluntly refused to raise taxes. During the summer, the world held its breath as the US came stumbling close to being forced to suspend its payments. The money in the Treasury was about to end, so that neither debt interest nor government pensions could be paid out. The crisis occurred when Congress needed to legislate on raising the debt ceiling and enabling continued borrowing. Normally it is a routine measure that has been taken 78 times in half a century. But now the Republicans took a stubborn stance. Some Tea Party representatives did not want to raise the ceiling at all. Business warned of disastrous consequences if no solution was found.

At the last moment, a settlement was concluded that allowed high debt ceilings. One result of the political circus - and the large budget deficit - was that for the first time, a credit rating agency lowered the US credit rating. The settlement included a "supercommittee" to produce a proposal on how the deficit would be reduced by $ 1.2 trillion in ten years. There was a new political failure as no savings package existed when the deadline expired in November. In the same month, government debt exceeded $ 15 trillion for the first time.

In many eyes, foreign policy won Obama a victory when he was able to announce on May 1 that the country's most wanted enemy since ten years, Usama bin Ladin, was killed. US Special Forces shot dead Ladin in a raid on a building in Pakistan. At home, many cheered, but the US's already strained relationship with Pakistan was significantly impaired by unilateral US action.

In July, a retreat from Afghanistan began, which is scheduled to end in 2014. During the autumn, the remaining 40,000 soldiers were also withdrawn from Iraq. The retreat, which was to be completed by the end of the year, meant that one of Obama's election promises was fulfilled when the United States left the country after nearly nine years.

During the summer, former CIA commander Leon Panetta took over as new defense minister after Robert Gates, who resigned. New head of the CIA intelligence service was David Petraeus, who in turn was succeeded by John Allen as commander in Afghanistan.

Dissatisfaction with the financial crisis, unemployment and increased social divisions was behind a protest action that began in New York in September, under the slogan Occupy Wall Street. The so-called Occupy movement spread rapidly so that demonstrations and occupations of squares occurred in over 1,000 American cities and in several other parts of the world. The protests were perceived to come mainly from the left and focused among other things. that 1% of US residents own 99% of the assets. The movement lacked leadership and clear focus. In November, police began evicting protesters.

Obama launched his reelection campaign ahead of the 2012 presidential election. His popularity figures were low, not least because of the weak economy and unemployment, which remained at just over 9%. But Republicans lacked a credible challenger. Several sailed temporarily as favorites during the year, but then quickly dropped in opinion polls. The strongest name among seven Republican major candidates who stood ready for the primary elections at the turn of the year was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, but he never had the support of more than a quarter of the electorate in his own party.

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