2011 was in no way a stellar year for the US government or the economy! The unemployment level ranged from 8.8 to 9.2. There was an issue with getting the federal budget under agreement. The debt ceiling was a major issue in passing the federal budget with a lot of contention from both sides. However, just barley they avoided a shut down. Certainly not the most positive government that year.
Even though I am not too big into politics, I do not think 2011 was a very good year for not only the US Government, but the citizens. A lot of jobs have continued to get lost and they have decided to cut back on federal pell grant money for students.
It's been a while since we can point to a positive year for the US government, and the most recent examples aren't even close. Washington doesn't work and there is absolutely nothing to indicate that is changing any time soon, 2011 was one of the consecutive years we've had of a congress that is so beyond inept it's difficult to even do justice to it in writing.
Gridlock in Congress over Obamacare and stopgap measures to avoid shutdowns were the norm in 2011. The 2010 midterm elections just happened and new tea party conservatives were ushered into the House of Representatives. The small minority instantly created a stir. The 2012 Presidential Election got an early start as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney sparred long before any primaries happened in January 2012. In 2011, the government was too involved in distraction to get any real work done as the unemployment rate continued its slow and steady rise from the depths.
2011 was the year the Occupy Protests started in the United States and based on the events surrounding it, I would have to say that, that alone made it a bad year for the US government. In 2011, Americans saw the beginning of the loss of freedom and the loss of the right to protest.