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About that S&P downgrade

Standard & Poor’s did it Friday. The U.S.-based financial services agency downgraded the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+. For the first time in history.

And surprise, surprise — the Democrats are blaming the Republicans for causing it and the Republicans are blaming the Democrats. In the headlines. In the news. In the interviews. Blame, blame, blame. Name-calling. Sound bites and talking points.

Almost lost in the din (or maybe deliberately ignored) is what the S&P report itself said:

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.

That’s right, Washington. You’re all to blame. This isn’t just about how the numbers add up; it’s about your extraordinarily unbusinesslike and irresponsible handling of the entire issue. The S&P is telling you that your schoolyard squabbling is not acceptable, that it is not the way this great nation should be conducting its business, and that your determination to continue your infantile approach to this serious matter is not acceptable. Your antics have been noticed, your paper has been graded. You do not listen in class. You do not play well with others. You do not use your time wisely. You do not get a top grade this semester.

Take note, Washington, because the whole world is watching.


  1. No doubt American politicians these days seem to live to find ways to abuse the people of your country (and the rest of us) just so they can screw with the guys in the Other Party. But S&P will be standing alone on this decision. There was some tiny ratings agency in China that did the same thing, but that’ll be it.

    “Take note, Washington, because the whole world is watching.”

    If this were the mid-90’s, and Tony Blair was leading Europe’s resurgence and the people of Germany and France were using champagne to wash themselves, and unicorns were mating with fairies, and the United States collapsed like it has over the past eight years… the ratings agencies would have dropped the AAA to an A+ — because there would have been a safe investing alternative in Europe.

    But there’s a realistic chance the EuroZone will be breaking up, China, India and Brazil are not ready for prime time, and Japan has just started year 15 of their 125 year recovery plan. There are still no investment opportunities like the American economy.

    Most of the money that was sucked out of the stock market and gold this past week, for example, was used to buy up American debt and Treasury Bills. People still love you guys.

    • I almost wish the world would turn its back on us, for a little while anyway. I was hoping the downgrade would get Washington’s attention and chasten those idiots a bit, but it was just more of the same on the Sunday morning talk shows. “It’s the Tea Party downgrade!” “It’s the Obama downgrade!” They won’t even shut up long enough to realize that S&P is telling them they all screwed up.

  2. Next time some credit company calls me up to offer me a ton of money for no particular reason, I’ll be sure to tell them that I’m not worthy. Maybe now they’ll quit calling me.

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