Beyond that, the performance of the economy looks likely to hinge on very large unknowns. The outlook for 2012 will change significantly if Congress fails to maintain payroll tax cuts that are scheduled to expire at year’s end. The development of the euro crisis also means the difference in another year of disappointing growth and a return to serious recession. The time for worrying about America’s weak recovery has come and gone. Policymakers should now be focused like a laser on preparing for the very nasty economic shocks that are likely to come America’s way.