WASHINGTON—With gasoline prices dropping a full 26 cents from where they were a month ago, a new era of confidence and hope washed over Americans this week, confirming the United States is once again the greatest nation in the world.

Arriving amidst an intractable 10-year military occupation of Afghanistan, the decreasing likelihood that workers will be able to retire at 65, and a wildly fluctuating stock market, today's announcement that the national average price of self-serve regular has fallen to $3.39 verified that the worries of the past are now officially behind us, and that the U.S. stands alone as the world's preeminent superpower.

Americans everywhere are celebrating the U.S. once again being the greatest country in the world.

"Finally, we have indisputable proof that America is back and absolutely better than ever," Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told members of the press while pointing to a large board displaying the nation's average prices for regular, plus, and premium petroleum. "This dip in gas prices marks the triumphant return not only of our economy and financial system, but of the supremacy of the American way of life itself. Though there were some dark times when we paid a few cents more per gallon, we're now paying less, and that means everything is great again once more."

"And to think any of us ever doubted the United States was the very best nation in existence," Geithner added.

As news of the 26-cent gas price decline spread across the nation, Americans everywhere expressed deep relief that the difficulties of the past few years—from global climate change, to the debt ceiling debate, to an unemployment rate hovering near 10 percent—had all been utterly negated thanks to the fact that one can now pump fuel into one's car at a somewhat lower price.

In addition, millions confirmed the national mood itself had lifted immeasurably at the news of the decrease, and that the very air itself seemed to be imbued with a uniquely American spirit of optimism unmatched by any other world power.

"They couldn't keep us down—America is just too great," said Cleveland steamfitter Steve Haber as he topped off the tank of his Ford Escape. "I thought this economy was going to remain stagnant and I might have to consider moving to a smaller house closer to my part-time job. But with gas prices down, I can afford to continue driving 50 miles away to the only steady work I've been able to find lately. We're back, baby. You better believe it!"

Massive spontaneous parades have erupted in the streets of cities and towns all across America this week, with citizens waving American flags and celebrating the nation's miraculous post-gas-price-decline surge in power and prestige.

According to polls, Americans everywhere who had once been highly concerned about the future immediately stopped saving money following news of the price drop, as they were suddenly 100-percent confident they had been worrying over nothing and lived in the best and most stable democracy there is.

"Simply put, we are looking at the beginning of a total paradigm shift—from now on, the very history of this country will have to be dated to before or after this momentous 26-cent change in the price of 87-octane gasoline," said financial consultant Deb Gardner, describing concerns over the continuing threat of a federal government shutdown and the failure of banks to loan small businesses the money they need to continue to grow as "over forever." "Years from now, historians will look at this as the moment when everything changed. When America rose from the ashes of failure and hardship and reassumed its rightful place at the forefront of the global community."

The good news at the pump has reached every sector of the populace, with rich and poor alike celebrating our nation's return to No. 1, regardless of our embarrassing infant mortality rate, faltering education system, eternally bickering Congress, record number of home foreclosures, terrorist threats, and runaway national debt.

And while sources said this price decline will have momentous significance for years and years to come, for now, citizens everywhere are simply enjoying the moment and basking in their newfound pride and optimism.

"I knew we'd make it," unemployed auto worker John Bowles said as he swiped his credit card at a self-service Mobil gas pump. "God bless America."

"God bless America," a smiling Bowles repeated, wiping a tear from his eye.