During the past month, great harm has been done at home and abroad to American competitiveness, and by extension U.S. national security. It will take the better part of the next decade to repair. This winter, when Congress takes up the budget and debt ceiling debate yet again there will be plenty of hope that this time will be different. In the meantime, most observers will start to look for renewed signs of confidence in the country among the halls of Congress or within the Oval Office. But the place to watch is across the Pacific.