Standard & Poor’s announced Friday night that it has downgraded the United States credit rating for the first time, dealing a huge symbolic blow to the world’s economic superpower in what was a sharply worded critique of the American political system......
If I am correct, youve stated that you are working with one candidates campaign.
PS, your recent offerings included a phrase that you were "WORKING" for one of the pres candidates.
- The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.
- More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011.
We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process. We also believe that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration agreed to this week falls short of the amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade.
Our lowering of the rating was prompted by our view on the rising public debt burden and our perception of greater policymaking uncertainty, consistent with our criteria (see “Sovereign Government Rating Methodology and Assumptions,” June 30, 2011, especially Paragraphs 36-41). Nevertheless, we view the U.S. federal government’s other economic, external, and monetary credit attributes, which form the basis for the sovereign rating, as broadly unchanged.
The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy. Despite this year’s wide-ranging debate, in our view, the differences between political parties have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to bridge, and, as we see it, the resulting agreement fell well short of the comprehensive fiscal consolidation program that some proponents had envisaged until quite recently. Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements, the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key to long-term fiscal sustainability.
Standard & Poor’s takes no position on the mix of spending and revenue measures that Congress and the Administration might conclude is appropriate for putting the U.S.’s finances on a sustainable footing.
The act calls for as much as $2.4 trillion of reductions in expenditure growth over the 10 years through 2021. These cuts will be implemented in two steps: the $917 billion agreed to initially, followed by an additional $1.5 trillion that the newly formed Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is supposed to recommend by November 2011. The act contains no measures to raise taxes or otherwise enhance revenues, though the committee could recommend them.
By Nile Gardiner World Last updated: August 6th, 2011
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The decision by credit agency Standard and Poor’s to downgrade America’s AAA credit rating for the first time in 70 years is a massive blow to the credibility of the Obama administration, and a damning indictment of its handling of the economy. No doubt the White House will pathetically try to blame the Bush Administration, Republicans in Congress, and of course its favourite target, the Tea Party, for the move by S&P. But without a shadow of a doubt, responsibility for the country’s financial mess and staggering levels of debt lie with the current US president and his administration. They have been in charge of running the economy for over 30 months, during which time the United States has witnessed an unprecedented increase in government spending and borrowing.
As the Congressional Budget Office revealed In January, the deficits generated under the Obama administration are the largest since the end of World War Two:
The deficits of $1.4 trillion in 2009 and $1.3 trillion in 2010 are, when measured as a share of gross domestic product (GDP), the largest since 1945—representing 10.0 percent and 8.9 percent of the nation’s output, respectively… Just two years ago, debt held by the public was less than $6 trillion, or about 40 percent of GDP; at the end of fiscal year 2010, such debt was roughly $9 trillion, or 62 percent of GDP.
The implications of this debt downgrade are extremely serious, not least with 46 percent of US Treasuries owned by foreigners. As The Wall Street Journal notes, the United States now has a score that ranks “below Liechtenstein and on par with Belgium and New Zealand”:
the move by S&P could serve as a psychological haymaker for an American economic recovery that can’t find much traction, and could do more damage to investors’ increasing lack of faith in a political system that is struggling to reach consensus on even everyday policy items. It could lead to the prompt downgrades of numerous companies and states, driving up their costs for borrowing. Policy makers are also anxious about the hidden icebergs the move could suddenly reveal. …. Lessons from other countries, such as Canada and Australia, suggest it can take years for a country to win back its AAA rating.
Since President Obama took office in January 2009, the United States has embarked on the most ambitious failed experiment in Washington meddling in US history. Huge increases in government spending, massive federal bailouts, growing regulations on businesses, thinly veiled protectionism, and the launch of a vastly expensive and deeply unpopular health care reform plan, have all combined to instill fear and uncertainty in the markets. Free enterprise has taken a backseat to continental European-style interventionism, as an intensely ideological left wing administration has sought to dramatically increase the role of the state in shaping the US economy. The end result has been a dramatic fall in economic freedom, sluggish growth, poor consumer confidence, high unemployment, a collapsing housing market, and an overall decline in US prosperity, with more than 45 million Americans now reliant on food stamps – that’s over one seventh of the entire country.
These are increasingly dangerous times, with American leadership being challenged across the globe. Only an historic reduction in government spending combined with pro-growth measures including lower business tax rates to stimulate job creation and attract investment can turn the US economy around. Unfortunately, as Standard and Poor’s decision has shown, this is a presidency in extreme denial over America’s towering debts, leading a nation on a precipice while blindfolded to reality. The United States badly needs another Reagan-style revolution to stave off further economic disaster, preserve American leadership on the world stage, and secure the future of a superpower. Ultimately, greater liberty and freedom, not the deathly hand of Big Government, are needed to turn this great nation around.