That was a gutsy move by Standard & Poors to downgrade the credit rating of the United States. The King does not like bad news. This makes Standard & Poors a target of the administration, as statements over the weekend have made clear.
Remember, this administration has a history of threatening private companies that get in its way. Remember their threats to health insurance companies that dared to disclose that costs would go up under Obamacare.
And it’s funny in one way, tragic in another, to have seen Chris Wallace, in his interview yesterday with Paul Ryan on Fox News Sunday, try to say that Standard & Poors was blaming the gridlock in Washington for the debt crisis that prompted the Standard & Poors downgrade, and asking Paul Ryan if the Republicans should have been more willing to compromise. Chris, two big points that you missed.
First, if we had had gridlock in 2009 instead of passing Obama’s stimulus bill, and in 2010 instead of passing Obamacare, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are today and we would not have even had to raise the debt ceiling this month.
Second, Republicans did compromise and agree to a window-dressing type of treatment of our nation’s debt problems that Democrats could accept. And that is also part of the problem.
Standard & Poors and Moodys both indicated, before the debt ceiling vote, that they would need to see deficit reduction in the range of $400 billion per year over the projected baseline 7% annual increases, in order to avoid downgrading the US government’s credit rating. Paul Ryan correctly pointed out that the budget passed by the House of Representatives did hit that target.
Yes, Standard & Poors did mention the gridlock in their statement. In fact, their statement was carefully worded to give Democrats some cover. I have a feeling this was partly motivated by the belief that there was no need for Standard & Poors to be suicidal.
And a note to you John Kerrys and other Democrats who want to try to pin this credit downgrade on the Tea Party. Remember that Obama initially asked for a clean debt ceiling increase. You have to be truly naive to believe that the Democrats, had they controlled all of Congress as they did last year, wouldn’t have done that. It was the Tea Partiers who pressed the debt issue and decided to turn the debt ceiling increase into a showdown over government spending. Do they think we have so soon forgotten all the caterwauling by Democrats over Tea Partiers wanting to link those issues?