Nothing in the cosmic laws of the universe makes the halfway mark sacred. Nevertheless, we often treat that dividing line as more important than others: Victory in a democracy usually requires crossing the 50-percent threshold. All other things being equal, a 50-50 split is considered fair. The question dividing optimists and pessimists asks whether the glass is half-full or half-empty. We encourage others by saying, “You’re halfway there already.” Et cetera.

So with the Obama administration now at its halfway point, writes A. Barton Hinkle, perhaps it is worth noting the many ways the United States is approaching, or already has crossed, the halfway mark in fiscal and economic matters.