Many politicians talk about America's large and growing federal debt, but they've taken little corrective action. We know that our political system responds to a crisis, but it would be very costly to Americans to wait for an acute fiscal crisis similar to the one currently facing Europe. Our leaders must act while the U.S. continues to enjoy the benefits of a strong Treasury market. Policy makers often ask how much time we have before markets lose confidence in Treasurys. No one knows for sure: It could be many years from now, but confidence could also fall rapidly.