Birthdays, of course, are times for giving gifts, but what does one buy the country that has everything? This year, America's big gift to itself is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare." (Well, fine, maybe we didn't technically buy it this year -- but Chief Justice Roberts only recently decided not to make us return it.)
And, to put things in context, it's worth remembering that America's last big expenditure, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have cost $1.3 trillion -- or $122 billion per year -- since 2001. By comparison, Obamacare is a bargain -- and a much bigger boost to the economy.
As we mark this national birthday, let's look back at America's biggest gifts to itself:
Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at@bruce1971.