America doesn't buy presents only for itself: almost 150 years later, it finished World War II by buying a gift for Europe: the Marshall Plan. Surprisingly, the proposal to fund the rebuilding of Europe enjoyed strong bipartisan support in Congress, in spite of its huge price tag. In 1948, it cost $17.6 billion, the equivalent of $168 billion today. Even so, it was probably a bargain in the long run -- and, like buying a friend a new Playstation, it's a gift we got to enjoy, too. In this case, our present bought us good relations with most of Western Europe and laid the groundwork for 64 years (and counting) of peace in the region.